2019 Big West Tournament Betting Preview

THE FORMAT

8 of 9 teams make the field. Cal Poly was the odd man out and they fired Joe Callero, which was stupid. All games played in Anaheim. The field is reseeded after the quarterfinals, which can make things tough to predict. They start on Thursday and end with the Saturday night/Sunday morning 12 am EST, degenerate special.

You can see the TV schedule below.

THE BRACKET

THE ODDS

Favorite

UC Irvine -165

Other Contenders

UCSB +435

Hawaii +900

Fullerton +1050

Darkhorse Candidates

Long Beach State +2200

UC Davis +2500

Cal St. Northridge +3500

Unfortunately Irrelevant

UC Riverside +12500

WHO TO BACK

NCAA Bracket Maximizer

Irvine is the obvious pick with how dominant they’ve been. Anteater basketball can be dreadful to watch sometimes, but the offense has started to come along quite nicely. Their penchant for slowing things down and playing stingy defense doesn’t always make for the most entertaining basketball, but it could add some drama to the NCAAT. They nearly won a 4/13 matchup against Louisville a few years ago.

Fullerton and Long Beach would probably be the preferred alternatives just because they play fast and chaotic and they’ve got some of the best players in the league.

Best Bet

Long Beach State +2200

They’re worth like a 0.1 unit flyer. They’ve won their last five and they’re the only team that’s beat Irvine in conference play and they did it on the road. They proved it wasn’t a fluke because they nearly beat the Eaters again at home. I’m guessing most don’t know that Irvine/Long Beach is a big rivalry in those parts and that puts some added pressure on the heavy favorite should that matchup occur.

Obviously they’ve got their issues or they wouldn’t be 22-to-1. One of them being that they got swept by their first round opponent, Hawaii. But they’ve got one of the best scorers in the league in Deishuan Booker and the Finnish sniper Edon Maxhuni looks like he’s starting to heat up again.

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