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BYU Basketball opens as 15-point favorite over Santa Clara

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 25 BYU at San Francisco Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

BYU will take the Marriott Center as a ranked team for the first time in nearly nine years Thursday night when they face off versus Santa Clara. Vegas released its opening line for the game and favors BYU by 15 points. KenPom gives BYU a 94% chance to win and predicts a 85-68 final margin.

Santa Clara is 18-9 on the year, but are seventh overall in the WCC with a 5-7 conference record. The Broncos racked up wins in non-conference play with the second easiest non-conference schedule in the nation and are in the midst of a 3-game losing streak. However, Santa Clara has a road win at Saint Mary’s and has shown the ability to knock off good teams.

The Broncos are Top 50 nationally in tempo and Top 65 in both 3-point field goal percentage and 2-point field goal percentage. They have decent size, but don’t rebound the ball particularly well; they are last in the WCC in opponents’ offensive rebound percentage.

BYU will have to slow down the duo of guard Trey Wertz and 6-foot-9 forward Josip Vrankic. Both players average 11.9 ppg and shoot above 38% from the arc.

BYU-Santa Clara tip off at 7pm MST on CBSSN.