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UC-Riverside has lost three straight and has dropped to 2-7 on the season. Pepperdine is 5-3 but is coming off a defeat at the hands of CSU-Northridge. This game Thursday night at Riverside will be a contrast in styles as Pepperdine is explosive on offense, while Riverside is more defensive-minded and struggles on the offensive end. Will the Highlanders be able to slow down the Waves enough to beat the spread?
Pepperdine Likes the Three
Pepperdine is off to a 5-3 start but comes into this game on the heels of a 90-83 loss to CSU-Northridge. Even in defeat, the Waves put lots of points on the board. They are one of the highest scoring teams in the country. averaging 84.4 points per game, which is 37th in all of Division I. The Waves are a great three-point shooting team, shooting 39.8 percent from three-point range, which is 32nd in the country. They score from all angles and all corner as the Waves have five players that average in double figures, led by guard Colbey Ross, who averages 19.9 points per game. Forward Kameron Edwards averages 17.7 points per game, Eric Cooper (13.6 ppg), Darnell Dunn (11.4 ppg), and Kessler Edwards (11.4 ppg) are also in double figures on the year.
My story on how Pepperdine Basketball team paid tribute to the first responders who saved their campus during a friendly rivalry match against CSUN. https://t.co/XEvIVOEy04
— austin montgomery (@amontgomerylive) December 4, 2018
In the loss to Northridge, Ross had 24 points and 11 assists. Cooper added 17 points and Dunn added 12 points and eight rebounds. Ross had five three-pointers, while Cooper made four from beyond the arc. The Waves made 12 three-pointers as a team, a season high. The Waves were without Kameron Edwards, who missed his fourth straight games. It’s not clear if Edwards will be available to play Thursday against UC-Riverside.
Riverside Drops Three Straight
UC-Riverside comes into this match up with just two wins against seven losses. Coming off a year where they won just 9 games last year, they aren’t looking much better this year. The Highlanders have lost their last three games, including a 73-62 loss at Valparaiso on Sunday. They were led by guard Dikymbe Martin. who scored 21 points, and Dragan Elkaz, who added 12 points.
Martin leads the Highlanders averaging 15.7 points per game, while backcourt mate Jordan Gilliam averages 9.3 points per game and Elkaz averages 7.8 points per game. The Highlanders only average 62.1 points per game, ranking 337 in the nation, which is near the bottom among all Division I teams. They were also bad offensively last year, averaging just 65 points per game, or 333rd in the country. This year, the Highlanders shoot just 42.1 from the field and 35.7 percent from three. Defensively, they give up 69.8 points per game and teams shoot 47.6 percent against them. The Highlanders haven’t had a winning record since 2009.
- Highlanders are 8-17-1 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games.
- Highlanders are 9-20 ATS in their last 29 home games.
- Highlanders are 5-17 ATS in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Highlanders are 5-18 ATS in their last 23 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Highlanders are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. West Coast.
- Waves are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Waves are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Waves are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Waves are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Even with the status of second leading scorer Kameron Edwards uncertain, Pepperdine should have no trouble beating Riverside. Pepperdine 5-1 against the spread this year while US-Riverside 3-4-1 against the spread. Riverside is getting a lot of points, but it won’t be enough to overcome a prolific scoring team in Pepperdine. Take Pepperdine giving up the points.
Prediction: Pepperdine -7
Full-Game Total Pick
Pepperdine averages almost 85 points per game, while Riverside holds teams to about 70 points per game. But look for the Waves to control the tempo and play its up tempo, run and gun style. The over is 8-3 in Waves last 11 road games and 22-10-1 in their last 33 vs. a Big West opponent. Plus, the over is 3-1-1 in Highlanders last 5 Thursday games. Take the over.