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CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction, Odds and College Basketball Betting Picks for Big West Tournament Final

Very little separated the top four teams in the Big West Tournament bracket this season. The proof was in the pudding on Friday night as both semifinal games were tightly contested affairs. When the dust finally settled, the 4-seed CSU Fullerton Titans and the 2-seed UC Santa Barbara Gauchos were left standing. After splitting a pair of regular-season meetings, the two sides will engage in a rubber match with an NCAA Tournament berth at stake on Saturday night. The CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara odds and college basketball betting picks give the higher seed a very small edge.

The following game preview provides the college basketball betting odds, trends and KenPom ratings before sharing our official CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara prediction for the Big West Tournament Championship Game.

CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction | College Basketball Betting Picks

Big West Tournament Final
(4) CSU Fullerton Titans (20-12, 12-6 Big West) vs. (2) UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (26-7, 15-5 Big West)
Time: 9:30 p.m. EST
Venue: Dollar Loan Center — Henderson, NV
Coverage: ESPN2

CSU Fullerton Titans Preview

Head coach Dedrique Taylor has CSU Fullerton playing its best basketball at the right time. After pulling out an overtime win over Hawaii in the quarterfinals on Thursday, the Titans put on an offensive clinic in the semifinals against top-seeded UC Irvine. The three-point victory marked the team’s eighth straight and tenth in their last 11 games dating back to late January. CSU Fullerton now has a shot to defend last year’s Big West Tournament championship and secure its third NCAA tourney berth in the last six years.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Preview

UC Santa Barbara shared the Big West regular-season title but wound up as the 2-seed in the tournament bracket by virtue of tiebreakers. The Gauchos had to overcome halftime deficits against both Cal Poly in the quarterfinals and UC Riverside in Friday’s semifinal matchup to reach the championship game. The brilliance of Ajay Mitchell has been on full display in this tournament. Coach Joe Pasternak now has UCSB one win away from its second March Madness appearance in the last three years.

Ajay Mitchell UC Riverside vs UC Santa Barbara prediction Big West Tournament college basketball betting picks
Credit: Andrew Lee / Hawaii Media Source

CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara College Basketball Betting Picks and Odds

College basketball betting odds for CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara can be found at BetOnline Sportsbook.

Moneyline: CSUF: (+122) | UCSB: (-142)
Point Spread: CSUF: +2.5 (-111) | UCSB: -2.5 (-109)
Total: 129 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

College Basketball KenPom Ratings

The following table displays the KenPom adjusted efficiency ratings for the two teams involved in Saturday’s Big West Tournament Final. In addition to overall efficiency margin, offensive, defensive and tempo ratings are included.

TeamOverall AdjEM (Rk)AdjO (Rk)AdjD (Rk)AdjT (Rk)
CSU Fullerton+5.04 (114)105.6 (164)100.5 (84)64.7 (313)
UC Santa Barbara+6.19 (109)111.5 (71)105.3 (175)64.8 (308)
  • Titans are 24-5-1 ATS in their last 30 games against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.
  • Five of the Titans’ last six games overall have gone OVER the total.
  • Gauchos are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win.
  • The UNDER is 6-1 in the Gauchos’ last seven games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.
  • Betting favorites are 13-6 ATS in the last 19 CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara head-to-head meetings.

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CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction | College Basketball Betting Picks

As previously noted, these teams split a pair of head-to-head meetings during the regular season with each side winning on the other’s home floor. UC Santa Barbara earned an eight-point road win back in late December before CSU Fullerton was able to return the favor with a 14-point victory in February.

CSU Fullerton put executed masterfully at the offensive end in Friday’s upset win over UC Irvine. As a team, the Titans shot 52% from the field and 59% from beyond the arc. The 83 points scored tied for their second-largest offensive output of the entire season! Latrell Wrightsell Jr.’s 22 points led five players who scored in double figures.

Not to be outdone, however, UC Santa Barbara shot 57% from the field and 53% from distance in its own semifinal victory on Friday night. The backcourt tandem of Ajay Mitchell and Josh Pierre-Louis combined for 48 points in the win. The 92 total points marked UCSB’s highest output of the season. Despite ranking 308th in adjusted tempo this season according to KenPom, the Gauchos have now scored 81+ points in four of their last five games.

Can bettors expect similar offensive success from one or both teams in tonight’s title game? Based on how well both sides have been playing of late, it’s hard to anticipate a major drop in production. The one key difference is that both CSU Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara rank outside of the top 300 in terms of adjusted tempo. Yesterday, they were up against two opponents that have tended to average a quicker pace over the course of the season.

Despite the potential for fewer possessions, recent form and season-long offensive efficiency numbers suggest that this game is more than capable of surpassing 129 total points.

OVER THE TOTAL will be our official college basketball betting CSU Fullerton vs UC Santa Barbara prediction for the Big West Tournament Championship Game.

For what it’s worth, the ESPN Matchup Predictor gives UC Santa Barbara a 52.3% chance to win this game outright.

Bet: OVER 129 (-110 at BetOnline Sportsbook)

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