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Santa Barbara vs. Akron - 12/21/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Akron Zips (7-2) at Santa Barbara Gauchos (2-6)

College Basketball: Monday, December 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm (Thunderdome)

The Line: Santa Barbara Gauchos +3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

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The Akron Zips and UC Santa Barbara Gauchos will face off in the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic this Monday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The Akron Zips won their 4th straight game and improved to 7-2 (0-0 MAC East) on the season after defeating the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, 81-60, on December 12th. The Zips took control of the game early taking a 41-24 lead at halftime and never led the Wildcats back into the game in the 2nd half. Akron shot 41.3% from the field and 42.9% (15-35) from beyond the arc. The Zips held the Wildcats to 34.7% shooting from the field and 16.7% (4-24) from three-point range. Akron won the turnover battle by a 13-10 margin. Leading the way for Akron was Jake Kretzer who had 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals off the bench. On the season, the Zips have been led by Pat Forsythe (11.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg), Antino Jackson (11.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.6 apg), and Noah Robotham (10.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.7 apg). Offensively, Akron is averaging 76.3 ppg on 42.1% shooting from the field and 37.9% shooting from beyond the arc. The Zips average 10.8 three-pointers per game and has an assist/turnover ratio 1.08. Defensively, Akron is holding their opponents to an average of 62.0 ppg on 34.8% shooting. The Zips have a rebound margin of 4.3 and a turnover margin of -1.4.

Santa Barbara vs. Akron - 12/21/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos lost their 4th consecutive game and dropped to 2-6 (0-0 Big West) on the season after being defeated by the Vermont Catamounts, 75-68, this past Wednesday.  UC Santa Barbara found themselves down by a 39-31 margin at halftime and couldn’t put any run together in the 2nd half to get back into game. UC Santa Barbara shot 43.9% from the field and 43.8% from beyond the arc. The Gauchos allowed Vermont to shoot 44.7% from the field and lost the turnover battle by a 12-9 margin. Leading the way for UC Santa Barbara was Michael Bryson who had 19 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and a block. On the season, the Gauchos have been led by Michael Bryson (18.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.3 apg), John Green (12.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 spg), and Gabe Vincent (11.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4 spg). Offensively, UC Santa Barbara is averaging 65.1 ppg on 41.2% shooting and 30.7% shooting from beyond the arc. The Gauchos average 5.9 three-pointers per game and has an assist/turnover ratio of 1.16. Defensively, UC Santa Barbara is allowing their opponents to average 72.8 ppg on 42.8% shooting. The Gauchos have a rebound margin of -2.1 and average 4.9 spg.

The Zips are 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a losing home record and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points. The Gauchos are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up loss.

Akron is a dangerous team as they have a solid defense can certainly beat you offensively from three-point range. UC Santa Barbara have some talented players in Michael Bryson and John Green, but has had trouble finding production from anyone else and has had trouble on the boards. UC Santa Barbara is a better team than their 2-6 record, however, I think the Zips are one of the better mid-major teams and shouldn’t have trouble covering this small spread. Take Akron to cover. 

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Akron Zips -3.5

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