UC Davis vs. UC San Diego prediction ATS, odds, analysis for Thursday, March 7, Big West matchup

A Big West Conference appeal to the NCAA failed to expedite UC San Diego’s full Division-I membership, which begins next season. So the Tritons aren’t eligible for their own league tournament or the NCAAs.

Some potential foes can exhale not having to play UCSD, which swept its season series with Cal State Northridge, and defeated Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara in their own barns.

A victory Thursday night would give the Tritons a season sweep of UC Davis, too. UCSD belted Davis on its own court, so it’s reasonable to envision another pasting.

What’s dangerous for Davis and Cal Poly on Saturday, and good for bettors, is that the Tritons will be treating these two games as their mythical national semifinal and final, respectively, due to being barred from any other playoff scenarios.

UC Davis vs. UC San Diego odds: Point spread, moneyline, total

Here are the latest college basketball betting odds for UC Davis (17-12 SU, 14-14 ATS) vs. UC San Diego (20-10, 18-10) at top-rated sportsbooks:

UC Davis Aggies betting news and analysis

The Aggies have dropped four of their past six games, and in those defeats they shot 30.4% beyond the 3-point arc. UCSD has won five of six, and in those triumphs it has limited foes to 24.2% long-range shooting.

Those trends will benefit UCSD, as will the steady hand of junior point guard Hayden Gray. 

In that 92-59 trouncing at Davis on Jan. 27, Fry left the scoring to others, and he grabbed eight rebounds, had eight assists to three turnovers and swiped the ball from the Aggies twice.

Over his past 11 games, Gray has 51 assists to 19 turnovers, and 52 rebounds.

Thirteenth-year Davis coach Jim Les, the former NBA guard, will have to contend with the Big West’s most efficient offense, its top 3-point shooters and the squad that best takes care of the ball, courtesy of Gray.

Elijah Davis, one of Les’s top two players, is herky-jerky. In two of his past five games, both at home, the fifth-year guard from Washington accumulated 62 points; in the other three, he totaled 22.

Junior guard Ty Johnson has been the menace, pouring in 117 points over his past five games. UCSD might be wise to not worry about him so much, limit everyone else and still stroll away with a 30-point victory.

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UC San Diego Tritons betting news and analysis

Fourth-year coach Eric Olen watched three years of sweat and toil come together this season, accumulating 20 wins—usually a benchmark for success.

However, the Tritons began making a national name for themselves early when they covered eight of nine lined games. They became a dependable investment, and they come into this one having covered four of their past six.

At 18-10 on the season, UCSD is the No. 21 ATS team in the country. Even better, at 10-2 inside LionTree, it boasts of the fourth-best home cover rate (83.3%) in Division-I hoops.

Only Minnesota (17-2, 89.5%), Stony Brook (13-2, 86.7%) and Lamar (9-1-1, 86.4%) have returned profit at a higher rate on their own court.

At Davis on a Saturday in late January, the Tritons had their way in that 92-59 triumph. Since then, UCSD has won four in a row at home.

Overall, the Tritons are 13-1 inside LionTree, losing only to San Diego State, 63-62, on Dec. 1.

The Aztecs, of course, were in the national-title game in April. The Tritons, however, gave them a difficult game and probably should have won; over the final 10 minutes, SDSU rallied to score 20 of the game’s final 30 points.

This is a tough Tritons team. Bryce Pope is the 6-foot-3 senior guard who has played all four seasons in his backyard. The Torrey Pines High product leads UCSD with 18.4 points per game, and he tallied 15 against the Aztecs.

Since then, he has assembled fabulous scoring runs of 115 points in five games, 109 in another five-tilt stretch and he’s rung up 75 in his past three contests.

Forwards Tyler McGhie (14.4 ppg), Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones (13.2 ppg) and Francis Nwaokorie (11.3 ppg) also register double-digit scoring regularly, and Tait-Jones nabs a team-best 5.9 boards a game.

McGhie is an inside force who will be difficult to guard, due to an assists-to-turnovers ratio of 3.7 that is 13th in the country.

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UC Davis vs. UC San Diego prediction

We were taking UCSD at -9, so the line available at online sportsbooks is even more enticing.

Pick: UC San Diego

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