The Saint Mary’s Gaels and Gonzaga Bulldogs will wrap up their regular-season series Thursday at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, so here’s the best betting pick for this West Coast Conference showdown along with the latest odds update on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Zags had no problems outlasting the Gaels 73-59 on January 16, but they still failed to cover a 16-point spread. They opened as 20.5-point favorites for Thursday’s clash on the home court, while the totals are set at 143.5 points.
Saint Mary’s lost at Pepperdine
The Saint Mary’s Gaels (11-6; 2-4 Conf.) are coming off a 60-58 loss at the Pepperdine Waves this past Saturday, tallying their fourth loss in the last six outings. The Gaels nearly overcame a 14-point deficit but couldn’t get the job done down the stretch.
They went only 4-for-24 from beyond the arc and dished out just seven assists. Junior forward Matthias Tass led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds, while senior guard Tommy Kuhse added 11 points and five assists.
Kuhse and Tass are key guys for the Gaels this season. While Kuhse racks up 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game, Tass tallies 10.7 points and 5.1 rebounds a night. The Gaels score just 104.6 points per 100 possessions (137th in the nation), playing at the eighth-slowest pace in the country, averaging 62.6 possessions per 40 minutes.
Saint Mary’s mostly leans on its defense, yielding 93.4 points per 100 possessions (34th). The Gaels are No. 70 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings and hold the fourth seed in the WCC.
Gonzaga destroyed San Francisco, continues its search for the perfect season
The Gonzaga Bulldogs (20-0; 11-0 Conf.) dismantled the San Francisco Dons this past Saturday, 100-61, easily covering a 16.5-point spread on the road. The Zags made 61.0% of their field goals and went 10-for-21 from beyond the arc while handing out 19 assists.
They also tortured the Dons on the defensive end, holding them to 35.0% shooting from the field and forcing 15 turnovers. Five players finished the game in double figures, and sophomore forward Drew Timme led the way with 28 points, ten boards, and a couple of blocks.
The Zags are No. 1 in all NCAA NET Rankings, KenPom rankings, and AP Top 25 Poll. They score 125.8 points per 100 possessions (2nd in the nation) on 55.1% shooting from the field (1st) and surrender 88.3 points in a return (5th) on 41.1% shooting (77th). The Bulldogs are recording a whopping 74.4 possessions per 40 minutes, playing at the seventh-fastest pace in the country.
- 2-6 ATS in the last eight games played in February
- 5-15 ATS in the last 20 games against Gonzaga
- 8-2-2 ATS in the last 12 games as favorites of 20.5 or fewer points
- 13-6-1 ATS in the last 20 home contests played on Thursday
The Gaels are a good defensive team, but they won’t have enough offensive firepower to keep it close against the best team in the nation. Of course, covering a massive 20.5-point spread on the road is never an easy job, so I hope the Zags won’t underestimate the Gaels in this one.
I cannot go against Gonzaga. Simply put, the Zags will beat Saint Mary’s by 30 only if they want to, but that’s the risk you have to take when backing the heavyweights as 20-point favorites.
Pick: Take Gonzaga -20.5 at -110
I’ve mentioned Gonzaga’s furious pace, but the Gaels know what they need to do to compete with Gonzaga. The visitors will manage to slow things down, especially if they put on another solid defensive job.
The under is 6-2 in Gonzaga’s last eight games, 6-3 in Saint Mary’s previous nine contests, and 7-3 in the last ten encounters between the Zags and Gaels.
Pick: Go under 143.5 points at -105