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College basketball free picks for 12/19/09–Back to the Beach – SportsUntapped.com
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Added December 18th, 2009 by David Glisan

College basketball free picks for 12/19/09–Back to the Beach
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We’ll take a look at the short slate of college basketball tonight and specifically head out west where the Long Beach State 49ers will host the Utah State Aggies.  We’ll have a play in early college bowl action up later tonight. For those of you interested in tonight’s 1-AA/FCS Championship Game, I’m leaning *slightly* toward Villanova to win and cover the small number.

UTAH STATE VS. LONG BEACH STATE

Utah State always seems to put a competent basketball team on the floor and this year is no different.  The Aggies are 6-3 SU/4-1 ATS and off of a 68-51 road blowout of Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday night.  Now they head a couple hours south to take on Long Beach State.  The 49ers are a favorite to win the Big West Conference, and this is the first time the teams have met since Utah State left for the WAC in 2005.  There may not be any ‘bad blood’ between the two teams but the 49ers clearly have this game circled due to the Aggies’ move to the higher profile loop.

The Aggies have relied on their tenacious zone defense this season to make up for their lack of size and athleticism.  That did the trick against Cal State Bakerfield, but this is a tough stylistic matchup for Utah State since Long Beach not only has a solid inside game but the bombers from beyond the arc necessary to defeat a good zone defense.  The contrast in styles is evident in the two teams’ performance against the O/U:  Utah State has gone ‘under’ in all four of their lined games, while Long Beach State has gone ‘over’ in four lined contests.  Utah State has held their opponents to a remarkable 38.4% shooting from the field.  On the other end of the court, Long Beach is shooting 47.2% from the field overall and over 52% at home.  Most impressively, they’re averaging 39.6% from three point range overall and an impressive 46.8% from behind the arc at home.

So we’ve got a quality team with something of a chip on their shoulder getting points at home.  More sigificantly, they’ve got the perfect team skill set to break up the Aggie zone and win this game outright.

PLAY LONG BEACH STATE +4′ OVER UTAH STATE

 
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