Brigham Young (23-9 SU, 15-14 ATS) vs No. 20 St. Mary’s (28-4 SU, 12-15-1 ATS)
Date/Time: Monday, March 5, 2018, at 11:30 PM ET
Where: Orleans Arena Las Vegas, NV
by Rich Crew, Expert NCAA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BYU +4.5 / SMC -4.5
Over/Under Total: 136.5
The BYU Cougars battle the 22nd ranked St. Mary’s Gaels in the semifinals of the WCC tournament being played at a neutral site at the Orleans Arena Las Vegas, NV on Monday, March 5, 2018, at 11:30 PM ET. On the NCAA betting board, St. Marys is listed as a 5.5-point favorite with the total line at 137 points.
BYU is fresh off of an 85-79 victory over San Diego in their opening conference game. The six-point margin gave Brigham Young bettors the points spread win covering the -4.5 line. The ATS win was just the Cougars second in their last six games and the 164 combined points scored soared OVER the 133.5 total line for the sixth time in their previous seven games.
St. Marys had a scare in their latest, holding off Pepperdine to win by three 69-66 as a -15.5 point favorite. The win was the Gaels fourth consecutive, and the point spread loss was their fifth in the last six contests. The 135 points scored fell UNDER the 144 closing total line for the sixth straight match.
These two clubs met back on January 25th and the host St. Marys came away with a strong 75-62 win getting the easy cover as an 8.5 favorite for their second win on the season over their rival (74-64 OT Win). The 137 points scored in the game slipped UNDER the 138 O/U line. The win was the fifth straight for the Gaels both straight up and against the betting line and the UNDER cashed for the fourth consecutive meeting.
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St Marys holds a significant edge based on conference scoring numbers having the better scoring offense 74.16 vs. 72.42 by BYU and the superior scoring defense 61.37 compared to 66.37 points per game. Shooting metrics support the scoring with the Gaels shooting 51.5% from the field and 43.5% from three-point land versus the Cougars 48.5% and 35.1%. BYU does have one edge, and that is their bench strength.
Last season the Cougars couldn’t put a dent in the Gaels defense scoring 58.33 points per game in their three meetings getting outscored 232 to 175 in the three defeats. This season they played St. Mary’s tough loss at home in overtime and then a better than it appeared 75-62 loss on the road. The main difference this season is the emergence of Yoeli Childs who erupted for 29 points and ten boards in the first meeting but ran into foul trouble in the second meeting and played only 26 minutes. SMC isn’t playing their best ball right now, and I believe that they are a perfect “go against” play tonight.
Rich Crews Pick: Take the BYU Cougars +4.5 at a sportsbook that offers 50% deposit bonus and the best in-game betting >>> Bovada