College Basketball Betting Preview: A Look at San Diego-Baylor

Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, HI
San Diego Toreros vs Baylor Bears
Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 5:20 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: Baylor -24
Current Line: -23
Opening Total: 130
Current Total: 129 1/2
Money Line: No Line

The Baylor Bears should roll in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic against the San Diego Toreros.

Don’t get the University of San Diego confused with in-city rival San Diego St. San Diego St-Baylor would be a fantastic match-up between two top 15 teams. San Diego, however isn’t that good, and is only 2-8 on the season. They have two wins over Division III teams Occidental and La Verne. Baylor is 7-1 on the season but they did lose to Gonzaga last Saturday in Dallas 68-64. Baylor has been devouring cupcakes to start the season, as their best victory is over a rebuilding Arizona St. The winner of this game will play the winner of Mississippi St-Washington St on Thursday. Baylor and San Diego have never played against each other. San Diego is 0-8 against the spread this season, including 0-7 as an underdog.

If San Diego even wins a game in this tournament it will be a real surprise. However, I suppose there are worst places to spend Christmas than Honolulu, even if they are getting pounded in 3 straight games. The Toreros are being outscored 72-66 on the season.   San Diego shoots 44.5% from the field and makes 35.6% of their 3-pointers. San Diego shoots 72% from the free throw line. San Diego averages only 29.6 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of -5.4. They average 11.4 assists a game, and 15.3 turnovers a game. The Toreros average 5 steals and 3.2 blocks a game. Junior point guard Darian Norris leads the team in points (11.0 PPG), assists (2.8 a game) and steals (1.6 a game). He also averages 3.6 rebounds and makes 36.7% of three pointers attempted. Sophomore  power forward Chris Manresa leads the team in rebounds with 5 a game. Sophomore small forward Ken Rancifer is the only other scorer in double figures with 10.8  a game. He shoots 42.5% from beyond 3 point range.

Baylor is outscoring opponents 75-54 on the season, but has played a very soft schedule so far. Outside of the games against Arizona St and Gonzaga, Baylor has wins over Grambling, La Salle, Jackson St, Lipscomb, Prairie View, and Bethune-Cookman. The competition will improve a lot during this tournament, and when the Bears open Big 12 Conference play next month. Playing such a soft schedule has it’s positives and drawbacks as you rack up wins, but it won’t help your seeding in March. Baylor is shooting 48.5% from the field and 34.7% from 3 point range. The Bears shoot 69.9% from the free throw line. They average 41 rebounds and have a rebounding margin of +11.6. Baylor averages 14 assists and 16.8 turnovers a game. They also average 8.3 steals and 5.1 blocks a game. Senior Guard LaceDarius Dunn leads the scoring with 21.8 PPG. He shoots 48.9% from 3 point range. Small forward Quincy Acy averages 14.3 points a game, 8.5 rebounds, and leads the team in blocks with 1.5. Forward/Center Perry Jones leads the team in  rebounding with 8.9 a game and also scores 13.9 points a game. Point guard A.J. Walton leads in assists with 5.3 a game and steals with 2.4. He alos scores 9.3 points a game.

Baylor should roll in this game, unless they get distracted by the beach and other amusements in Hawaii. San Diego is awful and is only here because they needed 8 teams in this tournament. Baylor has a huge edge in rebounding and defense. The only thing that worries me about this spread is Baylor might take their foot off the gas and rest their starters in the second half if they get a huge lead as they have to play 3 games in four days. Otherwise, this should be a rout.

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