Within Tuesday’s college basketball schedule, Gonzaga – Saint Mary’s battle for the third time this season — with the WCC tournament championship on the line. Are there any bets worth wagering on for this matchup?
Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect the biggest games of the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.
No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 17 Saint Mary’s Gaels
Similar to many of the Bulldogs’ conference home games, they took care of the Gaels in their first meeting while producing 1.10 points per possession (PPP). But in their second affair, Mark Few’s high-powered attack was held to just 0.80 PPP. So is Randy Bennett’s game plan replicable?
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Gonzaga Must Generate More Fast-Break Shots
In the Gaels’ upset win, they won the rebounding war (37-33) and drove the Bulldogs to rely on their half-court offense almost every possession. Unfortunately for Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s boasts an ultra-efficient pick-and-roll defense, forcing opponents to score in isolation. It surrenders the fewest assists per field goals made (A/FGM) in the country.
Few’s frontcourt of Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren were held to just 12 points of 5-of-17 shooting in the process.
On top of that, the Gaels turned the Bulldogs over an uncharacteristic 14 times — five of them from Timme. While the 6-foot-10 forward has struggled against athleticism in his career, Timme and his teammates simply appeared unmotivated at times.
Expect a focused effort this time around, especially on the glass, in a revenge game for Gonzaga. Bennett’s transition defense is more exposable before it gets set — in particular from behind the arc. The Bulldogs don’t rely on their perimeter offense for the most part, but point guard Andrew Nembhard & Co. can certainly space the floor (37.5%).
Gonzaga – Saint Mary’s Betting Pick
Bettors will always be forced to pay a tax when wagering on the Bulldogs. With that being said, a shorter in-game line could be valuable if the ‘Zags are controlling the pace yet aren’t shooting well. For now, I’ll be on the sidelines.
Regarding the total, it may be a bit deflated after the teams tallied 124 points in their second meeting. Gonzaga’s lower-scoring affair against San Francisco in the semifinals didn’t help, either.
Best Available Line: Gonzaga
Best Available Total: O/U