The quarterfinals of the Big West Conference Tournament will end on Thursday, March 10, at Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada, and here are the best UC Riverside Highlanders and Hawaii Rainbow Warriors betting pick and odds.  

The Highlanders are slight 1.5-point favorites with a total of 126.5 points, according to GT Bets Sportsbook. The conference foes have met once this year, and UC Riverside won that game 64-59 at home, covering a -3 spread in the process.

UC Riverside wasn’t lucky at the end of the regular season

The UC Riverside Highlanders (16-11; 14-12 ATS) lost two of the last three games to conclude the regular season, but both defeats to UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State came in overtime. They ended in 6th position in the Big West standings with a 9-6 record in conference play.

The Highlanders have been much better defensively than offensively this year. UC Riverside has the 33rd defense in basketball that allows 63.5 ppg, while its offense averages 66.6 ppg (293rd). UC Riverside is 127th in the country in defensive efficiency with 101.0 points per 100 possessions, while the Highlanders are 258th in offensive efficiency with 99.4 points per 100 possessions.

Sophomore guard ZyonPullin leads the Highlanders in scoring with 14.0 ppg, along with 5.6 rpg, and 4.3 apg. Dominick Pickett (11.5 ppg and 4.2 rpg), Callum McRae (11.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg), and Flynn Cameron (10.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg) are also key contributors. UC Riverside is No. 153 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 170 in the KenPom rankings.

Hawaii closed the regular season in style

The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (16-10; 13-9-2 ATS) finished the regular season in 3rd place in the Big West with a 10-5 conference play record. They destroyed CS Northridge 84-62 on the road in the most recent game, the Rainbow Warriors’ best offensive display of this calendar year.

Just like UC Riverside, Hawaii’s defense is way better than its offense. The Rainbow Warriors have the 40th offense in the country that allows 64.3 ppg, while their offense is 212th with 69.8 ppg allowed to the opponents. Hawaii is 153rd in defensive efficiency with 102.5 points per 100 possessions, while the Rainbow Warriors are 173rd in offensive efficiency with 103.7 points per 100 possessions.

Sophomore guard Noel Coleman is by far the best scorer on the team as he averages 14.8 ppg along with 3.1 rpg. Jerome Desrosiers (11.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg), Junior Madut (10.7 ppg and 4.0 rpg), and Bernardo Da Silva (10.0 ppg and 6.4 rpg) are also playing well this year for the Rainbow Warriors. Hawaii is No. 163 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 154 in the KenPom rankings.

Trends:

UC Riverside:

  • 5-1 ATS in the last six games overall
  • 9-2 ATS in the last 11 games played on a Thursday

Hawaii:

  • 1-3-1 ATS in the last five games following an ATS win
  • 1-4-1 ATS in the last six Thursday games

UC Riverside vs. Hawaii Pick

Hawaii will be playing without its best player and top scorer, Noel Coleman, who is out for the season due to an eye injury. His absence will hurt the offense that is already below average, which is going to be UC Riverside’s big chance to progress to the semi-final.

The Highlanders won each of the last three H2H duels, while they have been better in four of the previous five duels. Given how both teams concluded the regular season, I am leaning toward the Highlanders in this one.

Pick: Take UC Riverside -1.5 at -110

The Total

These teams have top 40 defenses and are quite inefficient on offense, so I expect a low-scoring affair. Hawaii has a 7-16-1 O/U record this year, while UC Riverside has an 11-15 O/U record.

The total has gone Under in five of Hawaii’s last six games against UC Riverside. The total went Under in eight of Hawaii’s previous ten games this season, while the total has gone Under in 15 of Hawaii’s last 18 games against an opponent in the Big West Conference.

Pick: Go Under 126.5 points at -110