UC Santa Barbara vs Creighton March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 20

Updated: March 15, 2021

Clock Icon Mar 15, 2021 – 7:43 PM ET

One of the most intriguing college basketball betting trends is the tendency of No. 12 seeds to upset No. 5 seeds in the first round of the tournament. 

This year’s 12 vs. 5 matchup in the West Region features the 6.5-point underdog UC Santa Barbara Gauchos going up against the Creighton Bluejays.

Will we see another classic 12-seed upset? We let you know what we think with our best free March Madness picks and predictions for UC Santa Barbara vs. Creighton on Saturday, March 20, with tipoff at 3:30 p.m. ET. 

UC Santa Barbara vs Creighton odds

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The line opened at Creighton -6.5, with the total at 138. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs Creighton Bluejays betting preview


UC Santa Barbara: None.
Creighton: Shereef Mitchell G (Out).

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Betting trend to know

Creighton is 1-10-1 ATS in its last 12 NCAA Tournament games. Find more NCAA betting trends for UC Santa Barbara vs. Creighton.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Creighton is a very good offensive team that has all five of its starters averaging double digits in points per game as it enters the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays shoot 48.2 percent from the floor and rank 42nd in the country with 78.4 points per game.

That said, when their shots don’t drop they have a difficult time winning grind-it-out battles. The Bluejays, with March Madness odds of -.6.5 for this first-round game, are coming off a loss to Georgetown where they scored just 48 points on 29 percent shooting. They are now 3-3 SU and ATS in their last six games and were held to 60 or fewer points in half of those contests. 

UC Santa Barbara is coming off a dominant 79-63 win over the UC Irvine Anteaters in the Big West Championship game. While the Gauchos might not be a household name yet, you might remember the Anteaters from the last NCAA Tournament in 2019 when they upset the No. 4 seed Kansas State Wildcats in the opening round. 

Led by Big West Player of the Year JaQuori McLaughlin (16.2 points and 5.2 assists per game) on offense, the Gauchos rank 20th in the country with a field goal percentage of 48.6. But they’ve also been excellent on the defensive end of the floor, too, where they hold foes to 62.1 ppg, good for the 15th-best mark in the nation. With such a stingy defense and a hustling offense that ranks 33rd in the country in extra scoring chances per game, the Gauchos won’t be an easy out. 

Another factor to consider is that the Bluejays absolutely stink at the charity stripe, ranking near the bottom of the country with a 65.1 free throw percentage. That means if the Gauchos have to resort to fouling them down the stretch, Creighton could have a very tough time pulling away and covering this spread. 

PREDICTION: UC Santa Barbara +6.5 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

Both of these teams are very efficient on offense but they’re also tough defensively. The Bluejays hold foes to just 40.9 percent shooting from the field while the Gauchos are only marginally worse at 41.6 percent. 

Santa Barbara also plays at a very slow pace, ranking 295th in the country in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom.

With UCSB 4-1 to the Under in its last five games as an underdog, and Creighton 5-2-1 to the Under in its previous eight as a favorite, expect this game to go below the total.

PREDICTION: Under 138 (-110)

Covers March Madness betting analysis

Team Total Pick

We previously mentioned Creighton’s recent cold-shooting stretch and while they had a couple of big offensive performances in recent weeks, their team total of 72.5 for Saturday looks too high. The Bluejays have scored fewer than 70 points in four of their last six games and they’ve been far worse away from home when it comes to shooting the ball. 

While the Bluejays average 83.5 ppg in Omaha, that number drops to 70.4 ppg when they travel. Now they face off against a strong defensive unit that has allowed fewer than 70 points in eight of their last nine games. And you can be assured that Gauchos head coach Joe Pasternack knows the key to staying competitive in this game is by playing their typical brand of slow-paced basketball. 

PREDICTION: Team Total Creighton Under 72.5 (-110)

UC Santa Barbara vs Creighton betting card

  • UC Santa Barbara +6.5 (-110)
  • Under 138 (-110)
  • Team Total Creighton Under 72.5 (-110)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness UC Santa Barbara vs. Creighton picks, you could win $59.58 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.

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