The California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal are in two different places at the moment, as far as their post-season aspirations are concerned. California looks like it is going to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, unless disaster strikes. What would hurt them is to lose to a team that isn't going to the Big Dance, and that is exactly what Stanford resembles at the moment. These teams will play at 10 PM ET at the Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, as Fox Sports 1 televises the second end of basketball's version of "The Big Game." VietBet customers can get reduced juice before the game starts, and then after the opening tip, they can challenge the college basketball betting odds in real time through the use of Live Betting Ultra.
California comes into this game with a record of 18-7 straight-up (11-14 ATS), with seven victories in its last nine games. The only genuinely significant wins on their ledger have come against Utah and USC, but they have also play tough against some of the nation's best, losing by just four points to Virginia and five points, on two different occasions, to Arizona. Just because they have won games does not mean have been able to carry the number; as a favorite they are 16-3 straight-up, but only 7-12 ATS.
Stanford is 12-13 straight-up (11-13 against the basketball pointspread) and have lost five of their last six. However, it can be argued that they are showing better form at the moment, beating Utah recently at home and competing all the way to the end against Arizona last Wednesday. They were a tad disappointing on Saturday, dropping a 75-69 decision to Arizona State, making only three of their 19 attempts from beyond the three-point arc, but they have forced their opponents into 70 turnovers over the last four games.
In the college basketball betting odds posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, California is the road favorite:
California Golden Bears -3.5
Stanford Cardinal +3.5
Over 129 points -110
Under 129 points -110
Obviously the argument can be made and when Reid Travis is on the floor, Stanford is a completely different team. He had missed four games with a shoulder injury, but came back just in time for Stanford to take on the Bears at Berkeley, losing 66 55. In that game, Jared Haase's team shot only 38.8%, and they could not figure out a way to stop Ivan Rabb, who rambled for 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Travis has picked up some steam, and against the Sun Devils he had 17 points with 11 rebounds. Michael Humphrey picked up eight offensive rebounds in that game, but this contest presents a stiff challenge, as California not only has a top 10 defense (according to Adjusted Efficiency levels laid out by the analytics site KenPom.com), but they are especially good on the defensive boards, ranking 24th nationally.
VietBet patrons know that Stanford can hardly depend on its outside shooting; in fact, there are not many teams in the nation who have been less proficient than they have beyond the arc, as they have hit just 31% of their shots. There's a good chance California, which only allows 31% itself, can shut them down on the outside. Then it becomes a matter of Stanford having to go inside and possibly put California's frontcourt people into foul trouble. Well, California has yielded only 42.5% shooting INSIDE the arc, so they are pretty tough all the way around.
We know that Rabb can do some damage on the inside, and that the Cal defense, which allows 39% overall, has held up pretty good on the road (allowing 41.2%). And the Bears are likely to slow down the tempo and turn this into a half-court game. Stanford's defensive effort is obviously going to be pivotal here, and they allow 38% from downtown, which is well-below average. California has not been an especially dangerous team from long-range, but Grant Mullins has injected some life into that, becoming a starter after the new year and hitting at least two triples in each of his last nine games. He has scored 47 points in his last three outings.
As much as we are tempted to grab points with the home team that did win in this series at Palo Alto last year, we have a hard time recommending them for several reasons, including the fact that they may not have 6-9 senior backup Grant Verhoeven up front. In this kind of game, where they are at a fundamental disadvantage, they can use all hands on deck. So let's take the better defensive squad – CALIFORNIA – minus the points.
VietBet gives you a generous free play bonus, along with reduced juice, affording you better college basketball betting odds…… Of course, you can stay in the action with the help of Live Betting Ultra, and there are multiple payment options available, including your Visa card, person-to-person transfers and the virtual currency of Bitcoin, which never, ever incurs a transaction fee!