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Wyoming vs. UC-Santa Barbara - 11/6/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos (23-9) at Wyoming Cowboys (20-13)
Date & Time Tuesday November 6, 2018, 10:00 PM (EST)
The Line
The Line: Wyoming Cowboys -7.5 -- Over/Under: 154
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NCAA BB | UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos (23-9) at Wyoming Cowboys (20-13)
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos and the Wyoming Cowboys meet in opening night college basketball action from the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyoming on Tuesday night.

The UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos will look to build on a massive improvement season in 2017-18 going from just 6 wins in 2016-17 up to 23-9 overall including 11-5 in Big West conference action, winning the Legends Classic subregional division championship. The Gauchos’ 11-5 conference record gave them the #2 seed, defeating Cal Poly but falling to UC-Irvine in the semifinals of the tournament. Despite winning 23 games, the Gauchos did not participate in a postseason tournament. Max Heidegger returns after leading UCSB with 19.1 points per game last season, but that’s about all that’s for sure as the Gauchos lost their next four leading scorers including Leland King who averaged a double-double per game last season with 15.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and Gabe Vincent and Jalen Canty who combined for 25.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game last season. Only time will tell if the Gauchos are for real or if last season’s improvement was just an outlier in the team’s history. 

The Wyoming Cowboys will also be undergoing a facelift after going 20-13 last season, including 10-8 in Mountain West conference play to finish in the 6th spot. The Cowboys defeated San Jose State in the opening round of the conference tournament before falling in the quarterfinals to New Mexico. Like UCSB, Wyoming had a solid 20 win season, but did not participate in a postseason tournament. Like the Gauchos as well, their leading scorer returns in Justin James, who averaged 18.9 points, 6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season, but after James, their next 4 leading scorers have all graduated, including Hayden Dalton who averaged 17.7 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game last season. Redshirt freshman Hunter Thompson will be expected to make an impact for Wyoming if he has recovered 100% from ankle surgery over the offseason. 

UC-Santa Barbara is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 road games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games overall. Wyoming is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Tuesday games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games while the over is 10-4 in their last 14 home games. 

Good luck trying to figure out this game, as both sides have lost a ton of talent from last season. However, for the sake of a pick, UCSB has had a proven track record dating back to last season ATS, while we can’t say the same for the Cowboys, so if forced to pick, I’d side with UC-Santa Barbara and the points in this one.

UC-Santa Barbara +7.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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