WAC Showdown: San Jose State at Louisana Tech

San Jose State Spartans at Louisana Tech Bulldogs
January 13, 2011 at 8:00 PM EST
Opening Line:  San Jose -1
Current Line:  Lousiana Tech -1.5
Opening Total:  139.5
Current Total: 139
Opening Moneyline: Louisana Tech -120 / San Jose +100
Current Moneyline:  Louisana Tech -120 / San Jose +100

The Opening Line has shifted favorites to Lousiana Tech now being 1.5 point favorites

One of these teams will get their first conference win in the WAC Tonight.  San Jose State is currently 0-4 in the WAC, 8-7 overalll; and Louisana Tech is 0-3 in the WAC, and 9-8 overall.  Lousiana Tech is undefeated at home, giving them the edge in the shifted line, which originally opened in San Jose State’s favor.

San Jose is a good scoring team, ranking 58th in the nation with 75.7 points per game.  Unfortunately, they are giving up nearly as many points, holding opponents to an average of 73.1 points per game, giving them a positive differential of +2.6.  Louisana Tech, despite having a winning record, has a negative point differential of -0.9, as they score 68.3 a game but give up 69.2  The total of the teams’ offensive output is 141.4, which is 2 points over the total set by college basketball oddsmakers.

Louisana Tech has dropped their last three games to Idaha (badly by 30), Boise State (by 11), and Iowa (by 19), so those games, combined with the 89 to 58 blowout loss to #25 ranked Texas, account for the negative point differential.  San Jose State has yet to face a ranked opponent, or they might be saddled with a negative point differential, as well, so be cautious not to read too much into the differentials at this point.

Some betting trends:

San Jose is 5-13 SU in their last 18 road games and 1-9 SU in their last 10 against Louisana Tech on the road.  Louisana Tech is 1-4 SU in their last 5 games and 9-1 SU in their last 10 games at home.  The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Louisana Tech’s past 5 games against San Jose State.

San Jose State is led by Adrian Oliver, a 6’4″ senior guard from Modesto, California.  He accounts for 31% of their points, averaging 24.2 points per game and shooting 44% from the floor.  He’s clearly the best player on either team and will be a force to be reckoned with on the offensive end.  He’s scored in double figures in every San Jose State game and has had eight games with 25 or more points, including a 42 point outburst in their 33 point victory over Puget Sound.  He’s also third on the team in rebounding with 5.1 boards a game, but despite his dominance he actually is second in minutes played to his backcourt mate Justin Graham.  Graham puts up numbers in his own right, scoring 15.4 points per game and dishing out 4.5 assists per night (team leader), while shooting a lights out 45.4% from three.  The backcourt tandem of Oliver and Graham will be the decisive factor if San Jose State is to win this game.

Louisana Tech is led by the tandem of DeAndre Brown and Olu Ashaolu, who combine for 31.7 points, nearly half of Tech’s output per night.  Ashaolu is a force down low.  He averages a team high 9.2 rebounds per game and shoots a high percentage from the floor (55%).  He’s had double figures in rebounding in every game except two so far and has already had 4 games with 20 or more rebounds, so his controlling the glass, particularly on the offensive end should be a big factor for Tech.  Last game in the loss to Fresno State, he had 20 points and 11 boards and could put up a similar line tonight against San Jose’s weak frontline.

As indicated by the odds shifting in Louisana Tech’s favor, the home cour advantage is going to play a big role in tonight’s game.  San Jose is not a good road team and despite having an edge in talent, they may succomb to the pressures of playing at Louisana Tech.

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