CBB Picks: St. Mary’s at Gonzaga Predictions & Analysis
St. Mary’s Gaels (25-5 SU, 16-11 ATS) at Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-5, 10-17), 2/25/23
When: 10 pm ET Saturday, Feb. 25
Where: McCarthey Athletic Center
CBB Betting Line: SMC +5/Gon -5
The two best teams in the West Coast Conference play for the conference regular-season championship when Gonzaga hosts St. Mary’s Saturday night in Spokane. The Gaels lead the Bulldogs by a game in the conference standings and are looking to clinch the conference crown outright. The Zags are looking to claim a share of the title. And both teams are shooting for good seeding in the upcoming NCAA tournament.
Which way are we going here for our SMC/Gonz pick?
College Basketball Betting Odds
Saturday’s CBB betting lines opened Gonzaga at -5 over St. Mary’s, with an over/under of right around 142. Early betting action then edged the Bulldogs to -5.5 and dipped that total to 141.
According to Sagarin’s CBB ratings at USAToday.com, the Zags should only be favored by four points for this match-up.
St. Mary’s-Gonzaga College Basketball Betting Preview
The Gaels ride a four-game winning streak into Saturday night after disposing of Pacific Thursday night 83-52. That game was close for about 10 minutes before St. Mary’s used an 18-4 run to lead 48-31 at the half. SMC pulled away from there, later leading by 36, on its way to victory and the easy cover as an 18-point favorite.
St. Mary’s shot 49 percent from the floor Thursday, held the Tigers to just 33 percent shooting, and won the turnover battle 19-6.
Two games ago, the Gaels beat BYU 71-65 but came up short of ATS cover at -10. Three games ago, they won at San Diego 62-59 but came up short of ATS at -13.
Stretching back to early this season, St. Mary’s is 16-1 SU, 11-6 ATS over its last 17 games.
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Gonzaga shot 55 percent from the floor Thursday, out-rebounded San Diego 45-26, and won the turnover battle 14-8.
Two games ago, the Bulldogs won at Pepperdine 97-88 but came up short ATS at -16. Three games ago, they won at Loyola-Marymount 108-65 and covered at -8.
Stretching back a bit further Gonzaga is 8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS over its last nine games.
At 14-1 in conference play, St. Mary’s leads the WCC by one game over the 13-2 Zags. And both teams are headed for the NCAA tournament.
St. Mary’s-Gonzaga Recent History
The Bulldogs beat the Gaels seven times in a row from 2020 into last season, but St. Mary’s is 2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS over the last three meetings, including a 78-70 overtime decision in the first meeting between these teams this season three weeks ago.
Gonzaga led for nearly that entire game and by two with 30 seconds left, but the Gaels tied the score at 61-61 on a bucket with five seconds remaining, then prevailed in extra time.
Also, that game played Under the total line of 137 through regulation, then went Over in OT.
The Unders are 15-14 in Gaels games this season which are averaging 131 total points.
The Overs are 17-11 in Zags games this season, which are averaging 162 points.
Free College Basketball Betting Pick
These teams played a close one a few weeks ago, and there’s no reason to believe this one won’t be close, too. St. Mary’s might have its best team in who knows how long, while Gonzaga isn’t quite the monster it usually is. And playing on the road means the Gaels are probably catching an extra bucket or so on the betting line. We like St. Mary’s, plus the points here.