Featured Video from Scott Reichel
College Basketball action on Saturday evening and a pair of teams from the West Coast Conference will square off as the Pacific Tigers grapple with the Santa Clara Broncos at Leavey Center in Santa Clara, California. Pacific enters this game at 15-5 on the year while the Broncos are at 15-4.
The Defense Helped Ground The PilotsThe Pacific Tigers are off to a strong 15-5 start to their year which includes a 3-1 mark in league play. It may be hard keeping their momentum going in this one as the Broncos have gone a perfect 14-0 at home for the year. The Tigers have been a strong defensive squad this year and that could be key as the Broncos have been a strong offensive team. If the Tigers get their defense to play well, then they have a real shot at taking this game. In their last game, that defense was on full display in a 65-55 road win over the Portland Pilots. The Tigers allowed them to hit just 33% from the field overall, including 20% (1/5) from long range. That will not cut it for any team on offense at any level.
Fresh off a ten-point victory at Portland, your Tigers will look to win back-to-back games on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Santa Clara to face the Broncos on Saturday night!— Pacific Men's Hoops (@PacificMensBB) January 17, 2020
Pacific also forced the Pilots into 16 turnovers, but they did commit 13 of their own. the offense was not very good in the win as Pacific hit just 41% of their shots from the field overall, including just 24% (4/17) of their shots from deep. The offense will need to be far better in this one as Santa Clara has scored plenty of points so far. Leading their attack in the win was Daniss Jenkins, who had 16 points while Jahlil Tripp had 15 points and 14 boards. The Tigers rank 189th in the nation in scoring at 71.2 ppg while also ranking 52nd in points allowed, giving up just 62.8 ppg. they are ranked 147th by KenPom and have faced the 338th rated slate of game.
Broncos Get Crushed By the BulldogsThe Santa Clara Broncos are off to a very solid 15-4 tart to their year, but they enter this game licking their wounds after a 104-54 road loss to the Gonzaga Bulldogs, which are the number one team in the nation. The Broncos have now lost two of their last three games, with all of those games being on the road. now they are back home, where they have won their last 16 games in a row. that home winning streak is tied with Florida State for the 5th longest active streak in the nation. The defense has been average overall as they are 175th in the land in points allowed, giving up 68.7 ppg. That defense was anything but average against the Zags as they allowed 104 points on 52% shooting overall, including 38% from long range.
LOVIN' LEAVEY...— Santa Clara Men's Basketball (@SantaClaraHoops) January 17, 2020
🏀 Not only is the current 1️⃣ 6️⃣ game home-winning streak the 3rd-longest in @SCUBroncos history, but it also currently ranks among the best in the @NCAA 👊 💪 #TeamFirst | #StampedeAhead | #WCCHoops pic.twitter.com/eYBjC7C0YW
The defense will need to be far better in this one, especially since their offense has struggled of late. the Broncos are 52nd in the nation in scoring, putting up 77.2 ppg, but they have averaged just 60.7 ppg over their last three games. Again, those games were on the road and Santa Clara has averaged 82.4 ppg here at home for the year. Against Gonzaga, the Broncos hit just 30% of their shots from the field overall and they were a miserable three-of-25 from beyond the arc. The Broncos will be facing a tough defense in this one, so we shall see if they can get their offense back on track. Leading their attack was Josip Vrankic, who had 12 points while Jaden Bediako and Trey Wertz each had 11 points. Santa Clara is ranked 144th by KenPom and they have faced the 348th rated schedule.
Santa Clara is:
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- 1-9 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Pacific is:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will side with the Tigers in this one. The Broncos have won their last 16 games on this floor but I expected that streak to end. Santa Clara has struggled to score of late as they have averaged just 60.7 ppg over their last three games. Yes, all three were on the road and they have averaged 82.4 ppg here at home, but the Tigers have a defense that can stop them. Pacific has allowed just 60.7 ppg on the road and just 62.8 ppg overall while the Broncos have allowed 68.2 ppg on the year. The Tigers have a defense that travels and that will be the difference in this one.
Prediction: Pacific +4
Full-Game Total Pick
I will go with the Under in this one. The Tigers have been very strong on defense all year and they have allowed just 60.7 ppg on the road. The Broncos have been a solid offensive team here at home but they have been struggling to score of late, averaging just 60.7 ppg over their last three games. The Santa Clara defense was just shredded by the Gonzaga Bulldogs but that was on the road and they have allowed just 62.5 ppg here at home for the year. The Under is 5-0 in Pacific's last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 5-1 in Santa Clara's last six games following a straight-up loss.
Prediction: Under 133.5