Baylor vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction and Odds, 03/17

Baylor vs UC Santa Barbara Prediction and Odds, 03/17

Photo Credit: © William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Odds

Time 1:30 p.m. EST
Gauchos money line +450
Gauchos spread +10.5 (-110)
Bears money line -650
Bears spread -10.5 (-110)
Over / under 143

 

2022-2023 season stats

  UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Baylor Bears
Record 27-6 22-10
Neutral Site record 5-0 3-2
Streak W7 L2
Points per game 72.00 77.00
Points allowed per game 65.00 70.00
Rebounds per game 32.00 34.00
Rebounds allowed per game 30.00 32.00
Over / under record 19-12 17-15
 

Preview

The 2023 Men's Basketball Championship - South Region - 1st Round will see the Baylor Bears and UC Santa Barbara Gauchos go head-to-head in an exciting game on March 17th at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. The Bears are currently ranked 3rd in the South Region and have a record of 22-10, while the Gauchos are ranked 14th with a record of 27-7. The game is set to air on TNT at 10:30 AM EST, and it promises to be a thrilling matchup between two talented teams. In this article, we will provide an extended preview of both teams, highlighting their strengths, weaknesses, and players to watch. We will also make a final prediction on the outcome of the game.

 

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos have had a season to remember, finishing first in the Big West Conference with a record of 27-7, including a 15-5 record in conference play. The Gauchos have won six of their last seven games, including an impressive win over Cal State Fullerton in the conference championship game.

The Gauchos' offense is led by senior guard Ajay Mitchell, who has been the driving force behind their success this season. Mitchell is averaging 16.4 points per game and 5.1 assists per game, making him one of the top guards in the country. He is a dynamic player who can score from all areas of the court, and he is also an excellent playmaker who can create opportunities for his teammates. Mitchell is an efficient scorer, shooting 50.9% from the field, including 42.2% from beyond the arc.

Another key player for UC Santa Barbara is senior forward Amadou Kelly. Kelly is averaging 11.9 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game, making him one of the top rebounders on the team. He is a versatile player who can score both inside and outside, and he is also a solid defender who can guard multiple positions.

The Gauchos' backcourt is rounded out by senior guard JaQuori McLaughlin, who is averaging 14.8 points per game and 3.3 assists per game. McLaughlin is an excellent scorer who can create his own shot, and he is also a solid playmaker who can get his teammates involved.

In the frontcourt, the Gauchos have a solid group of players, including senior forward Miles Norris and junior forward Robinson Idehen. Norris is averaging 8.8 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game, while Idehen is averaging 5.8 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game. Both players are solid defenders who can protect the rim and rebound the ball.

Defensively, the Gauchos are a tough team, ranking 60th in the nation in defensive efficiency. They are a physical team that can make life difficult for opposing offenses. They have good size and length, and they are capable of both protecting the rim and forcing turnovers. The Gauchos' defense is anchored by Kelly and Idehen, who are both solid rim protectors, as well as Mitchell and McLaughlin, who are both capable of causing turnovers with their quick hands.

One area where UC Santa Barbara has struggled this season is with their three-point shooting. The Gauchos are shooting just 33.2% from beyond the arc, which ranks 217th in the nation. This could be a cause for concern against a team like Baylor, which has a solid perimeter defense.

Overall, the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are a talented team that has the potential to make some noise in the tournament. With a dynamic backcourt and a solid defense, the Gauchos are capable of beating any team on any given day. They will need to continue to play at a high level if they hope to advance past the first round, but they have the talent and experience to make a deep run in the tournament.

 

Baylor Bears

The Baylor Bears are no stranger to success in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, having won the title in 2021. However, this season has been a rollercoaster ride for the Bears, with some impressive victories and disappointing losses.

One of the standout players for Baylor this season has been junior guard Kendall George. George has been the Bears' leading scorer, averaging 15.8 points per game. He is an excellent scorer who can create shots for himself and his teammates. George is a strong finisher at the rim, and he has also shown the ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc. He has shot 38.7% from three-point range this season, making him a threat from anywhere on the court.

Another key player for Baylor is junior guard Adam Flagler. Flagler is an excellent three-point shooter, averaging 2.3 made threes per game and shooting 43.8% from beyond the arc. He is a solid ball-handler and is capable of creating his own shot. Flagler has been a consistent scorer for Baylor this season, averaging 13.9 points per game.

Baylor's frontcourt is led by sophomore forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, who has been a force on the boards. Tchamwa Tchatchoua is averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, including 2.8 offensive rebounds per game. He is a strong finisher at the rim and can score in a variety of ways. Another key player in the frontcourt is junior forward James Akinjo, who is averaging 10.9 points per game and 4.4 assists per game. Akinjo is an excellent playmaker who can create opportunities for his teammates.

Defensively, Baylor is a solid team, ranking 70th in the nation in defensive efficiency. The Bears have a good mix of size and athleticism, and they are capable of forcing turnovers and contesting shots. Baylor's guards are particularly effective on defense, with George and Flagler both capable of causing problems for opposing backcourts. Tchamwa Tchatchoua is also a solid rim protector, averaging 0.9 blocks per game.

One area where Baylor has struggled this season is turnovers. The Bears are averaging 13.3 turnovers per game, which ranks 239th in the nation. This is an area where Baylor will need to improve if they hope to make a deep run in the tournament.

Overall, the Baylor Bears are a talented team that has the potential to make some noise in the tournament. With a solid mix of scoring and defense, Baylor is capable of beating any team on any given day. However, their inconsistent play this season is a cause for concern, and they will need to be at their best if they hope to advance past the first round.

 

BETTING TRENDS

The total has gone OVER in 5 of UC Santa Barbara's last 7 games.

UC Santa Barbara are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games.

UC Santa Barbara are 0-9 SU in their last 9 games against an opponent in the Big Ten conference.

UC Santa Barbara are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games played in March.

UC Santa Barbara are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games played on a Friday.

Baylor are 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games.

The total has gone OVER in 5 of Baylor's last 6 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Baylor's last 15 games against an opponent in the Pac-12 conference.

The total has gone OVER in 9 of Baylor's last 11 games played in March.

 

Prediction

This game promises to be a close contest between two talented teams. However, we believe that UC Santa Barbara will cover the +10.5 points spread. Here are a few reasons why:

 

First, UC Santa Barbara has been the more consistent team this season. They have played well throughout the year and have been particularly strong down the stretch. Baylor, on the other hand, has had some ups and downs and has struggled in some of their recent games. This inconsistency could make it difficult for Baylor to cover the spread, especially against a solid UC Santa Barbara team.

Second, UC Santa Barbara has a strong defense that is capable of keeping games close. The Gauchos rank 60th in the nation in defensive efficiency, and they have been particularly effective at limiting their opponents' three-point shooting. This could be a problem for Baylor, which relies heavily on their perimeter game.

Third, UC Santa Barbara has a dynamic backcourt led by Ajay Mitchell, who is one of the top guards in the country. Mitchell is an excellent scorer and playmaker, and he has the ability to take over games. He will be a handful for Baylor's guards to handle, and he could be the key to UC Santa Barbara covering the spread.

Finally, UC Santa Barbara has been a strong team against the spread this season. The Gauchos have a record of 20-10-2 ATS, which is one of the best in the country. They have been particularly effective as an underdog, covering the spread in 11 of their 14 games as an underdog this season.

In conclusion, while Baylor is a talented team, we believe that UC Santa Barbara has what it takes to cover the +10.5 points spread. The Gauchos have been a very consistent team this season, and they have a strong defense and dynamic backcourt that could give Baylor trouble. Additionally, UC Santa Barbara has been a strong team against the spread this season, making them a good bet to cover the spread. 

 

PICK: UC Santa Barbara +10.5 (-110)

 

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