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CBI Basketball Betting Picks — Fresno State and Siena Kick Off Best-Of-Three CBI Series

One of the unusual and attractive things about the College Basketball Invitational, better known as the CBI, is the fact that they do not play a winner-take-all game for their championship. Rather, when the final two teams in the 16-team field have been determined, they do it in a best of three series, with each of the teams having an opportunity to play on their home court. This, in our opinion, provides a special treat for college basketball betting fans. And the CBI championship series kicks off on Monday night, as the Fresno State Bulldogs play host to the Siena Saints at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, with tip-off at 10 PM Eastern time.

Siena is a team that finished in fifth place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference under their first-year coach, Jimmy Patsos. They actually entered this tournament with a losing record, but were able to gain entry to the CBI, which is also rather distinct in that teams can “pay to play.” In other words, they can offer a guarantee to the event promoters and actually get home games in this tournament (it’s not as shady as it sounds). That is how Siena has had the opportunity, despite entering with a 15-17 record, to play all three of its tournament games at home, but of course they had to do the heavy lifting on the way to this series.

Fresno State was barely over the .500 mark when it gained entry into the CBI, as they had a 17-16 straight-up record at the outset, and have won three straight to make it 20-16. They finished 9-9 in the Mountain West Conference, and although they have hosted their last two games, they had to go on the road in the opener to defeat UTEP.

In the CBI basketball betting odds at WagerWeb on this game, Fresno State is the solid favorite:

Fresno State Bulldogs -8
Siena Saints +8

Over 137.5 points -110
Under 137.5 points -110

Siena’s leading scorer is 6′ 5″ Rob Poole, who is averaging almost 15 points per game and had 14 in the semi final win over Illinois State, in which the tight Siena defense forced ISU into 10 missed shots to start the game. The final was 61-49, and it marked the third straight contest in which they had held an opponent below 40% from the field. Previous to that game, they had defeated Penn State and Stony Brook. Siena is not a high-powered offensive team; in fact, if you look at these three CBI tournament contests, they have not shot higher than 41%, and have done better than 43% only once in their last 10 games.

For WagerWeb customers who are looking for some college basketball betting trends to take into this game, Siena has played seven straight games under the total (there was no posted total on a March 8 game against Canisius). They have also gone 7-0-1 against the basketball pointspread over their last eight games. So they can’t be taken lightly.

Fresno State is one of those teams that was genuinely enthusiastic about getting into this tournament, and it certainly can be argued that the have taken the tougher road in getting here. Aside from that win at UTEP, they defeated Princeton, which always brings that troublesome offensive scheme to the table, and then took care of business against Old Dominion, in a game where they shot 52.6% from the field. There is no question about the fact that Fresno State is better on offense, and they exhibit a lot of balance, with four starters averaging in double figures.

Don’t underestimate the Bulldogs on defense either, as none of their CBI opponents has done better than 38.5% from the floor. This is a team that has won 12 of its last 15 games straight-up, And sharp college basketball bettors can see that they had plenty of games to toughen them up going into the regular conference schedule, as they played against the likes of Florida, Pittsburgh, Utah and California prior to the start of the Mountain West season.
Get on board with WagerWeb for the best in college basketball odds and props right through the Final Four – there’s still time to be a big winner!

 

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