NCAA Basketball Picks: California Golden Bears vs. San Diego State Aztecs

No. 24 California Golden Bears at San Diego State Aztecs
Sunday, 12/4/11, 5:00 PM EST, TV:  N/A
Opening Point Spread:  San Diego State PK
Current Betting Line:  San Diego State PK
Opening Total:  134.5
Current Total:  134.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The California Golden Bears are 14-9 ATS on the road the last two-plus years

California is set to play its first true road game of the year and secure the program’s best start to a season since 2007-08, posting a 6-1 record and coming off a 73-57 win over McNeese State.  The Golden Bears were led offensively by senior Jorge Gutierrez, who finished with a season-high 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting.   The entire locker room is focused on exacting revenge from last year’s 77-57 blowout home loss as five-point underdogs.  “They’re really good.  They’ve kind of found a niche in that they get kickbacks,” commented Golden Bears head coach Mike Montgomery about the Aztecs’ style of play.  California is 14-9 ATS on the road the last two-plus years.

The Golden Bears have four players that averaging 10 points or more per game, with Gutierrez leading the team in averaging 14.6 points per game.  California was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 Conference in the preseason poll, while Gutierrez was joined by Allen Crabbe in being mentioned on the 2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Watch List.  The team will be without starting forward Richard Solomon, who was suspended indefinitely by the school.

San Diego State is set to face its third and final opponent from the Pac-12 this season, posting a perfect 2-0 record in beating USC at home and then snapping Arizona’s 22-game home winning streak.  The Aztecs are coming off a disappointing 85-83 loss to the Creighton Blue Jays as 2.5-point home favorites, failing to hold onto a 17-point first-half lead.  “We don’t like losing at home at all,” commented Aztecs forward Tim Shelton.  “We’re going to be hungry and ready to go on Sunday.”  San Diego State is 2-4 ATS at home this season and the ‘over’ is 3-2 in those contests.

The Aztecs have won 27 of their last 28 non-conference home games inside Viejas Arena, while splitting its first two games against ranked teams on the year.  San Diego State has not dropped two straight games since the 2009-10 campaign.  Offensively, four players are averaging in double figures led by junior guard Chase Tapley, who is scoring 16.3 points per game.

Bettors will likely back the Aztecs due to their 6-2 ATS mark following a spread loss, while the Golden Bears are 2-6 ATS on Sundays.

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