Santa Clara vs. Portland Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Thursday, Feb. 29 (Back the Broncos)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Santa Clara-Portland. 

Feb 24, 2024; Spokane, Washington, USA; Santa Clara Broncos guard Adama Bal (4) controls the ball.
Feb 24, 2024; Spokane, Washington, USA; Santa Clara Broncos guard Adama Bal (4) controls the ball. / James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Santa Clara is trying to keep pace in a top-heavy West Coast Conference. The Broncos have won three of their last four games and are trying to bounce-back after a 94-81 loss on Saturday to Gonzaga. Santa Clara, fourth in the WCC, is a double-digit road favorite in Thursday’s tilt against the struggling Pilots of Portland. 

Portland takes a five-game skid into this home matchup, and are losing by 20.8 points per game over that stretch. Can they hang in there as a big underdog? Here’s the betting preview for Thursday’s tilt with a best bet. 

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Santa Clara vs. Portland Odds, Spread and Total

Santa Clara vs. Portland Betting Trends

  • Santa Clara is 16-10-2 ATS this season
  • Portland is 12-15 ATS this season
  • Santa Clara is 8-7-1 ATS as a favorite this season
  • Portland is 7-12 ATS as an underdog this season
  • The OVER is 12-15-1 in Santa Clara games this season
  • The OVER is 11-16 in Portland games this season 

Santa Clara vs. Portland How to Watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 29
  • Game time: 9 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Chiles Center 
  • How to watch (TV): ESPN+
  • Santa Clara record: 18-11 (9-5 WCC)
  • Portland record: 9-20 (3-11 WCC)

Santa Clara vs. Portland Key Players to Watch

Santa Clara

Adama Bal: Can the 6-foot-7 guard bounce back? The junior is Santa Clara’s top scorer this season at 14.3 points per game but has combined for just 13 points on 3-of-23 shooting over the last three games (2-of-12 from 3-point range). Bal had 15 points and 9 assists in the previous matchup against Portland this season. 


Tyler Robertson: The 6-foot-6 guard has been a bright spot for the Pilots this season, leading the way at 16.1 points per game. Robertson has been the leading scorer for Portland in back-to-back 21-point losses, turning in a combined 41 points on 14-of-30 shooting with eight 3-pointers, 15 rebounds and 4 assists. 

Santa Clara vs. Portland Prediction and Pick 

Portland has been brutal to backers as an underdog this season (7-12 ATS) and it’s been particularly bad against the top teams in the WCC.

Against the top-four conference squads (Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga, San Francisco and Santa Clara), Portland is 0-7 straight up, 2-5 against the spread and have lost those games by an average of 25 points per matchup. 

Portland’s defense is one of the worst in the nation (No. 340 in KenPom), ranking No. 357 in effective field goal percentage and 3-point defense while just a tad better (No. 344) at defending shots from 2-point range. Santa Clara topped 100 points in the previous matchup against Portland (a 101-86 win) and its offense has a dream matchup to bounce back against a team that is last in the WCC in scoring defense, permitting 80.9 points per game. 

Santa Clara’s offense is No. 83 in effective field goal percentage and No. 79 in shooting from 2-point range and should have success on the defensive end, too. The Broncos are No. 1 in the WCC against 3s and face a Portland offense with no firepower that ranks No. 259 in efficiency. Back the Broncos in a perfect rebound opportunity coming off a loss. 

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.