We have a non-conference battle of the Broncos this afternoon at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, as Boise State (10-2) visits Santa Clara (11-3) in a matchup that is scheduled to tip off at 5:00 pm ET (2:00 pm local time).
Today’s game is the finale of what has been a pretty successful non-conference slate for both of these teams.
Since losing to South Dakota State and Charlotte and starting 1-2, Boise State has won nine in a row. That includes wins over Washington State, Colorado, and Texas A&M, all of which were by double digits.
Santa Clara’s three losses are to Utah State (9-1), UCF (9-3), and San Jose State (9-4), and they have won three straight since losing to the Spartans.
Who will take the win at the Leavey Center? Read on for our Boise State vs Santa Clara basketball prediction, as well as our betting picks for the matchup.
Boise State vs Santa Clara Odds
Game odds are via FanDuel as of Thursday, December 22, 2022, at 11:55 am ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- Boise State -1.5 (-118)
- Santa Clara +1.5 (-104)
- Over 139.5 (-104)
- Under 139.5 (-118)
- Boise State -130
- Santa Clara +108
Will Defense Propel Boise State to Another Win?
If the Broncos are to hold serve at home against the other Broncos, they will have to break down one of the best defensive teams in college basketball.
Entering today, Boise State ranks ninth in both scoring defense (57.1 PPG) and field goal percentage defense (36.7 percent), and they are fifth in three-point defense (26.0 percent).
They have allowed fewer than 60 points in eight games, including each of their last four.
More often than not, they have been able to produce enough offense to win those games, save for a 54-42 loss to Charlotte on November 17.
Boise State has been impressive on both ends in their last two games, beating New Orleans 91-50 and Oakland 77-57.
Both of those wins came without guard Marcus Shaver Jr. (14.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 4.1 APG), who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists. Shaver is listed as day-to-day, but coach Leon Rice spoke optimistically about his status on Tuesday.
Like Shaver, guard Brandin Podziemski (18.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.3 RPG) leads Santa Clara in all three of those categories. On Sunday, Podziemski recorded 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals in Santa Clara’s 71-62 win over Cal.
It was the Illinois transfer’s sixth 20-point game of the season, and he has had at least six rebounds in all of them and multiple steals in all but one.
Preseason all-WCC selection Keshawn Justice had another positive performance against Cal, making 3 of 6 from three and recording 13 points, four rebounds, and five assists.
Podziemski and Justice will be key against Boise State, and so will Carlos Stewart, the team’s second-leading scorer. Stewart had a rough game against Cal, making just 2 of 7 shots from the field and recording as many turnovers as points (four).
But in the previous six games, he had averaged 21.5 PPG and shot 57.9 percent (44 of 76) from the field, 58.6 percent (17 of 29) from three, and 85.7 percent (30 of 35) from the free-throw line.
Boise State vs Santa Clara Prediction and Picks
Boise State vs Santa Clara Prediction: Santa Clara to win
Boise State vs Santa Clara Picks: Santa Clara to cover (Best Value: +2.5 @ -115 at BetMGM) & Santa Clara team total over (Best Value: over 68.5 @ -110 at Caesars Sportsbook)
Boise State is a fantastic defensive team and a potential NCAA Tournament team, but I’m going for the home team in this matchup.
They have a trio of guys in Podziemski, Stewart, and Justice who can fill it up, and Parker Braun–brother of former Kansas star Christian Braun–is coming off of his best game of the season, as he had 17 points on 8 of 9 shooting against Cal.
I think they will be able to handle the challenge and wrap up non-conference play with an impressive win over a team that may well be in the field of 68 come March.
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