NCAA Basketball Picks: UCSB Gauchos vs. California Golden Bears

UCSB Gauchos at California Golden Bears
Tuesday, 12/18/12, 11:00 PM EST, TV: Pac-12 Networks
Opening Point Spread:  California -13
Current Betting Line:  California -13
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The California Golden Bears will try to snap their three-game losing streak Tuesday night

UCSB has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it prepares to travel to Berkeley on Tuesday night after picking up an 87-60 win over San Diego Christian.  The Gauchos set a season-high with 13 three-point baskets in that contest, while Alan Williams led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds.  The program is 1-4 on the road this season, with the only win coming in overtime over Santa Clara on Dec. 1.  UCSB is 3-1 ATS as a road underdog of 12.5 or more points over the last two-plus season, which must be considered when making your college basketball picks against the spread.

The Gauchos are very young this year, with Williams being a sophomore, while their second-leading scorer is freshman Taran Brown.  First or second-year players have scored 444 of the team’s 608 points this season, which is 73.1 percent of the scoring.  UCSB has been dealing with numerous injuries in the early going, including junior forward Keegan Hornbuckle, who continues to be sidelined with an ankle injury.

California looks to get back on track after losing three games in a row, including a 74-64 setback to the Creighton Bluejays as 1.5-point home underdogs on Saturday night, while going OVER the total in its last three opportunities.  Five of the Golden Bears’ six wins this year have come by double digits, while they’ve out-rebounded seven of their first nine opponents overall.  California is 8-5 ATS as a home favorite of 12.5 or more points over the last two-plus seasons.

The Golden Bears are still dangerous on the college basketball odds page due to the junior guard duo of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs, as they are averaging 38.8 points per game.  Crabe is the Pac-12 Conference’s leading scorer, with his numbers being helped by hitting 84.6 percent of his shots from the charity stripe.  California has scored 643 points through nine games, with this tandem accounting for 349 of them.

Sports bettors will likely back the Golden Bears due to their 8-5 ATS mark as a home favorite of 12.5 or more points, while the Gauchos are 2-4 ATS as an underdog.

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