NCAAM Basketball Pick for December 15th

University of California-Davis Aggies (7-2) at University of San Francisco Dons (5-3)

The betting line information for this article was taken from at 8:00 AM PST on 12-15-17. Some odds may have changed.

Today is another light day of NCAA men’s basketball action as most of the top twenty-five are finishing up finals week and will be in action later this weekend. That leaves us with only a handful of games to choose from. But don’t worry, we are still able to bring you some great value in a matchup of two teams that get very little national attention.

The University of California-Davis Aggies will take the short trip to San Francisco to play the Dons of the University of San Francisco in a non-conference game.

The Aggies come into this game at 7-2 on the season, having won their last four games. They are building a solid resume in the non-conference during that stretch, with wins over Washington State and Pacific.

The Dons have won two in a row themselves, and sit at 5-3 so far, this season. The home court Dons are -4-point favorites tonight. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM PST from Memorial Gymnasium in San Francisco, California. The game total over-under is set at 130.5 points.

The UC-Davis Aggies have looked pretty solid so far, this season. They were able to pick up a big upset win when they went to Pullman, and handed the Washington State Cougars their first loss on the season and hung in until the last minute with the Washington Huskies, a team that just beat Kansas on the road.

The Aggies played another West Coast Conference team last week when they defeated Pacific. UC-Davis has played a respectable schedule on the west coast this year and has a strong 7-2 record to show for it.

The Aggies would love to beat another non-conference foe in San Francisco before conference play gets into full swing. The Aggies play in the Big West conference, and that looks to be a league that is down this year and up for grabs.

The Aggies sit near the top of the league in wins, just behind rival UC-Santa Barbara. The Aggies are led this season by 6-6’ 223-pound Chima Moneke. The swingman from Australia has an NBA skill set and is averaging a double-double on the season with 21 points and 11 boards a game.

The rest of the Aggies team has struggled some, and they are amongst the worst in the nation in rebounding, assists, and points per game. The one thing they do well? They shoot the three ball.

The Aggies are 23rd in the country in three-point percentage at 41%. Their ability to score from the perimeter is what has kept them competitive in most games and has been the main driver of their success. They will need to stay hot from behind the arc if they are going to pull off a true road game win tonight.

The Dons of San Francisco University have fallen on hard times. This isn’t the same program that won national titles with Bill Russell leading the way generations ago. The Dons have made the NCAA tournament just once since 1982, and that one trip wasn’t even this millennium.

It has been a rough patch for the Dons as they have struggled to stay competitive in the ever increasingly good West Coast conference.

The Dons played another Big West team early this season when they played against the Long Beach State 49ers and got handled and lost by 12 points. The Dons are still looking for their first good win this season, as of right now the best W for the Dons is against Central Arkansas. The five teams that San Francisco has beaten this year have a combined record of just 15-25.

San Francisco is quickly seeing this season head where, so many have recently, to the bottom of the WCC standings. With a conference led by Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s and hot starts from BYU and San Diego, the Dons are seeing their season already slipping away from them.

Here is a stat Don’s fans won’t like to hear, San Francisco is currently 339th in the country in field goal percentage out of 351 total teams. They don’t get many good looks, and when they do, they miss them.

Small conference college basketball can be tough to handicap. There isn’t as much information readily available about the teams, and when they play against such a different level of talent it can be difficult to gauge just how good or bad a team really is.

But all that is the same for the sportsbooks. They don’t have that information either, so if you can properly evaluate a small conference game, you can find some big value.

To be completely honest, I don’t know how the Dons have a winning record with the way they shoot the ball. They rebound the ball decently I guess, but they flat out can’t shoot. Not from the field or from three-point range. I suppose they have squeaked out a couple of wins just by having a very soft run of schedule.

UC-Davis is no world beater, but they also aren’t Sacramento State or Sonoma State, a couple of the Don’s “wins” this season. You have to give San Francisco a little bit of credit playing at home, true road games are always very tough, especially out of conference.

I expect a lower scoring game that should remain close, but think that UC Davis will hit just enough threes to pull away for the victory.

The money line the books are offering isn’t a great one, so while I do believe the Aggies are going to win the game outright, I will take the 4-points anyway, based on the price.

So, give me the UC-Davis Aggies in a mild upset plus 4-points tonight from San Francisco.

Pick: University of California-Davis +4 points

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