UC Irvine vs. Long Beach State - 3/12/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

UC Irvine vs. Long Beach State - 3/12/20 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Long Beach State Beach (11-21) at UC Irvine Anteaters (21-11)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 9:00 pm (Honda Center)

The Line: UC Irvine Anteaters -12 -- Over/Under: 139

The UC-Irvine Anteaters and the Long Beach State Beach meet in a Big West tournament quarter-final matchup in college basketball action from the Honda Center on Thursday night.

The Long Beach State Beach come into the conference tournament as the #8-seed, finishing the year with a 6-10 mark in conference play as part of their 11-21 overall record this season. Chance Hunter leads Long Beach State in scoring with 13.9 PPG while Michael Carter III has 12.4 PPG and a team-high 2.6 APG this season. Colin Slater has 10.2 PPG while Joshua Morgan has 8.4 PPG and a team-high 6.1 RPG this season. As a team, Long Beach State is averaging 67.4 points on 43.2% shooting from the field, 35.1% from 3-point range and 70% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 75.1 points on 44.2% shooting from the field and 34.9% from 3-point range this season.

The UC-Irvine Anteaters will enter as the top seed in the conference after finishing the year with a 13-3 conference record as part of their 21-11 overall mark this season. Collin Welp leads the Anteaters in scoring with 13 PPG while Evan Leonard has 12.4 PPG and Eyassu Worku is right behind with 12.3 PPG and a team-high 4 APG this season. Tommy Rutherford also has 10.1 PPG for UC-Irvine this season. As a team, UC-Irvine is averaging 74 points on 47.3% shooting from the field, 35.4% from 3-point range and 73.9% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 65.2 points on 38.8% shooting from the field and 35% from 3-point range this season.

Head-to-head, the underdog is 13-3-2 ATS in the last 18 meetings between these two teams.

I get the UC-Irvine is the better team here, but Long Beach State has also shown earlier this season that they can hang around with the Anteaters, beating them by 7 points earlier this season. With that said, that win came at home with a huge fan base behind the team, and the Big West is one of the first conferences to instill the spectator ban on their conference tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak. I just think without that extra push from their fans, the Beach will have trouble keeping the motivation up to keep pace with UC-Irvine. The Anteaters are the better team here and should get the job done in a big way so I’ll lay the points with the Anteaters here.

Chris’s Pick UC-Irvine -12

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.