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Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans
NCAAB: Thursday, March 21, 2019, Titan Gym, Fullerton, California, 9:00 PM ET
The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners and the Cal State Fullerton Titans will lock horns in the CIT First Round showdown at Titan Gym in Fullerton, California, Thursday night. This will be the first head-to-head duel between these two schools since 2013 when the Titans defeated the Roadrunners 74-62 on the road, but Cal State Bakersfield have won four of its last five encounters with Cal State Fullerton.
The free-falling Roadrunners look to avoid their seventh straight defeat
The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (16-15; 7-9 Conf.) finished the regular season at the 5th spot of the Western Athletic Conference standings and lost to UT Rio Grande Valley 85-70 in the quarterfinals of the WAC championship tournament. It was Roadrunners’ sixth consecutive defeat after another awful shooting performance, while they are just 1-5 ATS during their losing streak. Also, the Roadrunners lost four straight contests away from home, covering the spread only once in the process. They will appear at the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament for the second time after losing in the first round to Utah State 75-69 in 2012.
Cal State Bakersfield enters the CIT as a No. 218 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 225 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Roadrunners are scoring 102.5 points per 100 possessions (206th in the country) on 42.8% shooting from the field, allowing 107.6 points in a return (243rd in the country). The sophomore guard Jarkel Joiner is leading the way for the Roadrunners, averaging 16.1 points and 3.5 rebounds while making 45.8% of his field goals. The senior PG Rickey Holden is tallying 10.8 points and 3.8 assists per contest, while the senior forward James Suber is posting 6.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
The Titans were helpless in the Big West Final
The Cal State Fullerton Titans (16-17; 10-6 Conf.) finished the regular season at the 3rd spot of the Big West standings, reaching the finals of the championship tournament where they were demolished by UC Irvine 92-64. The Titans just couldn’t cope with the Anteaters, allowing them to make 61.8% of their field goals including ten triples out of 14 attempts from deep. It was the Titans’ third loss over their last five games overall, while they’ve won six of their last seven outings on the home court, covering the spread just once in the process. The Titans will appear at the CIT for the third time after losing in the first round in 2012 and 2017.
Cal State Fullerton enters the matchup with the Roadrunners as a No. 200 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 203 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Titans are scoring 98.9 points per 100 possessions (275th in the country) on 45.7% shooting from the field, surrendering 102.3 points in a return (138th in the country). The senior guard Khalil Ahmad is leading the way for the Titans, averaging 18.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while hitting 43.6% of his field goals. Another senior guard Kyle Allman Jr. is posting 17.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest, while the junior forward Jackson Rowe is adding 11.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per outing.
Cal State Fullerton Titans:
- 2-6 ATS in the last eight games overall
- 0-5 ATS in the last five games at home
Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners:
- 5-1 ATS in the last six contests in the postseason
- 11-6 ATS in the last 17 games in March
- Over is 9-2 in the previous 11 games in March
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Titans are listed as strong favorites here, playing in front of the home fans, while their form certainly looks better than the Roadrunners’. However, both these teams have struggled to cover lately, as I’ve already mentioned above. While the Titans have problems at the offensive end, the Roadrunners struggle with their defense, so I think the visitors will be able to keep it close tonight.
Prediction: Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners +7.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Titans are playing at a fast pace, averaging 69.7 possessions per 40 minutes (72nd in the country), while the Roadrunners are recording 65.3 possessions per 40 minutes (286th in the country). The Titans will try to speed up the tempo on the home court, so I’m backing the over. Also, neither side can play really tough defense.
Prediction: Over 138.0 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Four of the Titans’ last six home games were decided by a single-digit margin, while the previous four H2H duels between the Titans and the Roadrunners were decided by ten or fewer points. I don’t expect to see a blowout tonight, considering the teams’ recent form, and I’m already backing the visitors to cover, so picking the winning margin within six and ten points seems like a nice wager at decent wages.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Any Team by 6-10 points (+230)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Titans were leading at halftime in four of their last five games at home, while the Roadrunners were trailing at halftime in four of their last five outings away from home. Hereof, I’m backing the hosts to cover the spread at halftime.
Prediction: Cal State Fullerton Titans -3.5 (-110)