Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s Prediction, Odds and Key Players for Thursday, Feb. 15 (Lay it with the Gaels)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bet for Pepperdine-Saint Mary’s. 

Nov 27, 2023; Moraga, California, USA;  St. Mary's Gaels guard Aidan Mahaney (20) prepares to shoot against Utah.
Nov 27, 2023; Moraga, California, USA; St. Mary's Gaels guard Aidan Mahaney (20) prepares to shoot against Utah. / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

No. 18 Saint Mary’s is one of the hottest teams in the nation right now having cruised in West Coast Conference play. Since a five-point loss to Missouri State just before Christmas, Saint Mary’s has won 12 consecutive games, including an 11-0 mark in league play. 

Pepperdine stopped the bleeding after a six-game losing streak with a 72-63 road win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday. The Waves are still one of the bottom feeders in the WCC. Can they hang within the big number against Saint Mary’s? 

Here’s the betting preview for Thursday’s conference contest with a best bet. 

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Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s odds, spread and total

Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s betting trends

  • Pepperdine is 10-14 ATS this season
  • Saint Mary’s is 13-12 ATS this season
  • Pepperdine is 3-10 ATS as an underdog this season
  • Saint Mary’s is 10-12 ATS as a favorite this season
  • The OVER is 11-12-1 in Pepperdine games this season
  • The OVER is 12-13 in Saint Mary’s games this season

Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Feb. 15
  • Game time: 11 p.m. EST
  • Venue: University Credit Union Pavilion
  • How to watch (TV): CBS Sports Network
  • Pepperdine record: 10-16 (3-8 WCC)
  • Saint Mary’s record: 20-6 (11-0 WCC)

Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s key players to watch


Michael Ajayi: The junior guard is the West Coast Conference’s leading scorer (17.2 points per game) and ranks second in rebounding (9.5) while shooting 46.4% from the field. Ajayi has 13 double-doubles on the year, including two in the last three games after a 17-point, 13-rebound performance in Saturday’s win over Loyola Marymount. 

Saint Mary’s 

Aidan Mahaney: One of four double-digit scorers in the Saint Mary’s lineup, Mahaney leads the Gaels in scoring at 14 points per game and is shooting 34.4% from beyond the arc. Mahaney has hit nine 3-pointers over the last three games, including five triples in Saturday’s win over Portland. He finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds. 

Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s prediction and pick 

Saint Mary’s might be just 13-12 ATS this season, but they have absolutely hammered the struggling teams in the West Coast Conference. In five league games against conference opponents with a losing record, St. Mary’s is 5-0 straight up and winning by 24.6 points per game.

Saint Mary’s might slow the game down and play at the fifth-slowest pace in the nation, but the Gaels are still efficient, ranking fourth in the WCC in field goal percentage (45.6%) while scoring 73.1 points per game. They’ll face a Pepperdine defense that hasn’t been able to stop any offense this season. The Waves are No. 280 in KenPom overall on defense and rank No. 351 in effective field goal percentage and No. 354 against 3-pointers. They are No. 300 or worse in defending shots from inside the arc and steal percentage. 

While the matchup is great for Saint Mary’s offense, the Gaels’ bread and butter is on defense. Saint Mary’s is No. 10 in KenPom in defensive efficiency and No. 3 in both effective field goal percentage and defending 2-point shots. Saint Mary’s doesn’t allow very many second-chance opportunities either, ranking sixth in defensive rebounding. They’ll face a Pepperdine offense that is seventh in the WCC in scoring (72.6 points per game).

Saint Mary’s has been able to cruise against sub-par opponents in league play this season. That continues on Thursday.

Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.