Portland Pilots vs. UC Riverside Highlanders - 11/11/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
UC Riverside Highlanders (14-19) at Portland Pilots (12-20)
College Basketball: Friday, November 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm (Earle A. Chiles Center)
The Line: Portland Pilots -8 -- Over/Under: 147.5 See the Latest Odds
The UC-Riverside Highlanders look to start their season off with a bang as they take on the Portland Pilots to kick off their respective 2016-17 seasons.
The UC-Riverside Highlanders look for their first winning season since 2009 and only their 2nd in program history after the Highlanders finished with a 14-19 record last season, including 5-11 in conference play which was good for 6th place in the Big West tournament where UC-Riverside were eliminated by Long Beach State in the quarterfinals by a score of 82-74. The main challenge for head coach Dennis Cutts will be replacing his top 2 leading scorers from last season in Jaylen Bland and Taylor Johns, who combined accounted for 31.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists for the Highlanders last season. Their first test comes against a Portland Pilots squad that will look to get an early jump on the extremely tough West Coast Conference.
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The Portland Pilots come off of their 4th sub-.500 season in the last 5 years following a 2015-16 campaign where the team finished 12-20 overall, including 6-12 in conference where the Pilots entered the WCC tournament in 7th, before falling in the quarterfinals to 2nd seeded Gonzaga by a score of 92-67. The disappointing season prompted the Pilots to fire head coach Eric Reveno who leaves Portland with a 140-178 record over 10 seasons at the helm. Taking over for Reveno will be former NBAer Terry Porter, who will have his first taste of head coach experience at the collegiate level with the Pilots. Porter holds a career 99-116 record as a head coach, however Porter will be given a good situation upon the start of the season as the Pilots lost only 1 key player to graduation and that was senior guard Bryce Pressley. Pressley finished his senior season with 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists. The Pilots will be out to show early that they are far better than their 8th place projection out of 10 teams in the WCC preseason poll.
UC-Riverside is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. the WCC, and 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 road games. The over is 5-1-1 in Portland’s last 7 games overall and 17-6 in their last 23 Friday games.
UC-Riverside lost their top 2 scorers while Portland returns the main core of their pieces from last year. The first game of the season can usually be a toss-up, but I’m going to side with Portland because they’ve kept more key pieces from last year.
Lay the points with Portland.