The Big West will crown its tournament champion tonight when the No. 2 Pacific Tigers take on the No. 4 UC Irvine Anteaters in college basketball betting action at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
The Tigers have been opened as 2.5-point favorites after ousting No. 7 UC Santa Barbara by three points and No. 3 Cal Poly by two points. The Anteaters made their way to this championship tilt with a 9-point victory over No. 5 Hawaii and a stunning 67-60 win over No. 1 Long Beach State as 1.5-point underdogs. These two split the season series both straight-up and against the spread.
The Anteaters will try to spoil to the party on Saturday; they are 16-16 ATS against the number this season, while the Tigers are 14-13-2 ATS. UC Irvine is 13-13 on the totals; Pacific is 15-13.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
The Tigers - Anteaters odds would favor the Anteaters if the lines were set according to our power ranks. Pacific is rated No. 141 in the current Odds Shark poll, while UC Irvine is at No. 44. Mathematical models based on recent stats and predictive formulas point to a 71-70 win for the Anteaters.
How They Match Up:
In the paint, the rebound battle will feature Pacific's No. 270-rated squad against UC Irvine's No. 17-rated roster. And in long-range shooting, Pacific rates No. 128 in the country with 6.5 per game, while their foes tonight rank No. 109 nationally with 6.8 per match.
Comparing how these foes stack up statistically, UC Irvine owns the country's No. 188-rated mark, allowing 70.2 points per game on the highway. Pacific, on the other hand, rates No. 117 in scoring at home.
UC Irvine won its last outing, a 67-60 result against Long Beach State on March 15. They covered in that game as a 2-point underdog. Alex Young scored 18 points leading the Anteaters to a 67-60 victory over Long Beach State at Honda Center on Friday.
Pacific was a 55-53 winner in their most recent outing at home against Cal Poly. They failed to cover the 2.5-point spread as favorites. The Tigers grabbed a 55-53 win over the Mustangs on Friday, behind a 20-point effort from Tony Gill at Honda Center.