While looking over the college basketball slate, this game between the San Diego Toreros and CSU Northridge Matadors stood out due to the line not quite adding up to where most people, including myself, would set it at. I’ll preview the game and then get into who I’ll be backing due to this line differential.
The CSU Northridge Matadors have opened the season with a 2-8 record and have lost three straight games entering tonight's matchup. Offensively the Matadors have been a disaster to start the year, putting up an offensive efficiency rating of 95.5, which is rated 314th in the country on KenPom.
Shooting-wise, the Matadors have a shooting percentage of 39.2%, which is one of the worst percentages in all of college basketball. Aside from leading scorer Dionte Bostick who is averaging 14 points per game, this CSU Northridge team possesses no real strengths on the offensive end.
With offensive numbers like this, one would hope the defense would be a bit more productive to make up for it, but that's not the case. CSU Northridge has a defensive efficiency rating that ranked 298th in the country on KenPom and mind you, these numbers are against a nonconference schedule that ranks 245th in the nation in strength of schedule.
The Matadors' opponent tonight, the San Diego Toreros, enter tonight’s contest with a 7-6 record and fresh off an overtime win over UC Riverside. The Toreros offense averages 77.6 points per game and has a team three-point shooting percentage of 39.4%, which is tied for 17th in the country.
Eric Williams Jr. has led the way for this strong offensive team by averaging 15.6 points and 10.7 rebounds a game. The Oregon transfer is shooting 41% from deep so far this season and poses a challenging match-up problem for the Matadors' defense.
San Diego can be found as -4 point road favorites this afternoon, and honestly, this number is a few points too low. The Toreros are my best bet for this one, and they possess too much offensive firepower for a Matadors team with an effective field goal percentage of 43.7% to keep up with. I was able to get them at -3.5, but if it’s only available now at -4 or -4.5, I would be fine taking backing them still.
San Diego has what it takes to win this game on the offensive end alone. The Toreros are 63rd in the country in offensive efficiency rating, and they only average 10.9 turnovers per game, so they won’t be making costly mistakes that will keep the Matadors within striking distance.
The Toreros' defense has struggled at times this season, but this is a CSU Northridge team that’s only averaging 8.3 assists a game. That is the second-lowest average in all of D1 basketball, so despite the Toreros' mediocre ability to create turnovers, they are still in an excellent position to win the game.
San Diego (-3.5 up to -4.5)