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WCC action here as the Pacific Tigers travel to take on the Portland Pilots. Both teams are riding a three game losing streak and looking to snap out of it here. Oddsmakers have the Tigers as slight road favorites here for this one.
Pacific has lost three straight games now and enters this matchup at 10-8 after a hot start. While losing three straight is never good, it’s not as bad as it seems. Pacific has actually done a very good job beating bad teams, and has only lost to good teams.
Their three-game losing streak consisted of a road loss to an elite Gonzaga team, and close losses to very good San Diego and BYU teams. Look back even further in their schedule and you find their only losses were to tough teams like Nevada, Boise State, a three point road loss against Fresno State etc. They’ve played a way tougher schedule than Portland has, and we can’t really hold it against them that they’ve lost to some great teams.
— Pacific Men's Hoops (@PacificMensBB) December 11, 2018
They shoot the ball very well from three, and are great free throw shooters. Most college basketball point spreads are decided by how a team shoots from the line, and the Tigers hit nearly 77% of their free throws, a mark that’s 8% better than Portland. They have five guys who average at least 9.4 points per game, and do a great job spreading the ball around. They’ve already played nine road games this season, so going on the road won’t phase them here. They’re coming off an embarrassingly lopsided loss to Gonzaga here, so they should have some extra motivation.
Portland Bottoming Out
Portland has been having a rough year. 7-10 doesn’t sound *too* bad, but it’s even worse than it seems. They’re on a three game losing streak, and they haven’t just been losing a lot of games, they’ve been losing them badly.
All but one of their ten losses this season have come by at least nine points, and they’ve regularly been blown out. All three of their most recent losses were by at least 12 points, including a 15 point loss to a Cal State Fullerton team that’s worse than this Pacific team is, according to Kenpom. Two of their wins came against non-DI teams, and the others were very narrow wins against some of the worst teams in college basketball, like a three point win over Cal State Northridge.
In their most recent game against BYU, a 23 point blowout loss, they shot just 6/23 from beyond the arc, and finding consistent three point shooting has been an issue for them all season long. They also have a strength of schedule that’s ranked 294th in the country, which is far worse than Pacific. They don’t really have a high volume scorer, no one on the team averages more than 14 points per game, and the offense tends to go stagnant for long stretches. They don’t have much of a home court advantage, and this one could be lopsided.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like Pacific a lot here. Portland has gotten blow out just about every single time they’ve lost, and Pacific is the far more talented team here. The Pilots have covered just one of their last six games, and they don’t do anything well. Pacific is better across the board, and they’ll win this one easily on Portland’s home court.
Prediction: Pacific -4
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither of these teams is above average at shooting from three, and both play at paces ranked outside the top 200 fastest. The under is 5-2 in Portland’s last seven games, and 4-0 in their last four home games. This one will be very low scoring.