A late-night match-up between two Big West Conference teams will go down tonight at 10:00 PM ET, as UC Riverside will play host to Cal State Fullerton. We’ll preview the match-up before I break down who I’ll be backing in this one.
Conference play in the Big West started last week, and the UC Riverside Highlanders are already 2-0 in conference games, bringing their season record to 9-5. The Highlanders have been led by Zyon Pullin, who is averaging 19.6 points per game and shooting 52.6% from the field.
Overall, the Highlanders have an offensive efficiency rating of 102.8 on KenPom, which ranks 156th in the country. The offense doesn’t run at a very high tempo, but the Highlanders can still get a fair amount of field goal attempts up per game, ranking 75th in the country in field goal attempts. Their shooting has yet to catch up to this pace, as they have managed an effective field goal percentage of 49.7%.
Defensively UC Riverside has produced numbers that fall in the middle of the pack amongst college basketball. Entering tonight, their defensive efficiency rating is 101.9, ranking 166th in the country. They won’t be facing a very formidable offensive opponent tonight, though, as CS Fullerton ranks 260th in the country in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
The 7-7 Titans have scored less than 60 points in two of their last three games and enter tonight shooting 40.3% from the field. That shooting percentage ranks 312th in the country and can be attributed to several reasons. One of which is a lack of ball movement and inability to protect the ball.
CS Fullerton is averaging just 10.8 assists per game while also averaging 12.5 turnovers per game. The Titans possess some talented offensive players, but ranking 302nd in assists to field goals made can lead to the offense becoming stagnant at times.
UC Riverside is currently listed as -5.5 point favorites, and I’ll be backing them as my best bet for the game. The Highlanders possess an offensive advantage in this game, and with the current pace at which the Titans are scoring, I don’t think they can keep pace with them.
CS Fullerton has had eight straight games go under the point total for a reason, and even though UC Riverside won’t be setting scoring records anytime soon, they have still been able to make an average of 26.2 field goal attempts per game, which ranks 95th in the country. The Titans will enter tonight ranked 313th in the same category with just 22.6 a game.
The Highlanders are 3-1 ATS at home this season, and CS Fullerton is 1-4 ATS on the road, and I think UC Riverside can do enough offensively to keep this game out of reach.
UC Riverside (-5.5)