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Portland Pilots vs. San Diego Toreros - 1/25/14

San Diego Toreros (11-10) at Portland Pilots (12-8)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm (Earle A. Chiles Center)

The Line: Portland Pilots -6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ROOT Sports

Looking at the records of San Diego and Portland, you’d probably think both teams are heading in opposite directions. The Toreros have lost six of their last eight, falling below a 500-record, while the Pilots have won three of their last four and are slowly climbing up the West Coast standings.

But I advise you not to sleep on San Diego in this matchup.

Portland Pilots vs. San Diego Toreros - 1/25/14

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Four of its last five losses have been decided by less than five points. That includes the most recent matchup against Gonzaga, a team that the Toreros probably should have beaten. San Diego doesn’t score a ton of points, averaging just 68 per game, but it does hold teams to under 66 points defensively and that hasn’t changed up even during this losing stretch.

The Pilots are absolutely balling offensively, shooting nearly 49 percent from downtown during the last five games and scoring more than 80 points twice in the last four games. However, while the defense still forces tough shots, teams are still averaging 73.4 points per game against Portland.

San Diego doesn’t do anything spectacularly well and is more of a grind-it-out type of team. It won’t blow you away but it manages to find a way to hang around. That’s why I’m taking the Toreros and the points. I think that game against the Bulldogs gave them the confidence that they need moving forward. San Diego won’t win, but it’ll manage to keep it close. Basically the story of its season.

San Diego is 4-1 against the spread in its last five road games and is 7-3 against the spread this season on the road.

I like my chances.

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