BYU Cougars (24-8, 13-5) faces the Portland Pilots (17-14, 7-11) in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament on Monday night. The game tips off at 11:30 pm ET from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be televised by ESPN2. BYU is currently an 8.5 point favorite in this contest.

Portland is coming into this game off an upset win against St. Mary’s. Prior to that win, Portland had dropped their previous 4 games including a 13 point home loss to BYU on February 26th. They also dropped a high scoring road contest to BYU earlier in the season by 9. In their last 6 games, Portland is 1-5 against the spread.

CLICK HERE for my free NCAA basketball picks on today’s top games!

For BYU, this is a very pivotal game. They are currently on the NCAA Tournament bubble and it is imperative for them to win in impressive fashion. BYU is a very high scoring team and currently rank second in the nation in that category at 83.8 points per game. In their last 7 games, BYU is 6-1 against the spread.

Free Pick on BYU -8.5

All signs in this game point to a BYU blowout. BYU can flat out score the ball and Portland is ranked 206th overall in points allowed in the country. In addition, BYU has already beaten Portland twice this season and each time by more than 7. Its also important to keep in mind BYU is still considered a bubble team and an impressive destruction of Portland is needed to enhance their at large chances. BYU is also on a roll of late against the spread covering in 6 of their last 7 games while Portland is trending in the opposite direction against the spread covering only 1 time in their last 6 games. One other positive trend for BYU is that they have covered 4 straight times in games against teams with winning records. Overall, the significance of this game for BYU along with recent trends point to a BYU cover.