St. Mary's looks to announce itself as a NCAA Tournament contender not just to make it, but get to the second weekend, with a road trip to Gonzaga.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are searching for its first Quad 1 win, will it come at home against a St. Mary's team that is playing better than any team in the West Coast Conference? All eyes will be on this mid major showdown late on Saturday, let's fire a bet in on it.
Here's how we're betting St. Mary's at Gonzaga from 'The Kennel.'
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St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga Odds, Spread and Total
Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's Betting Trends
- St. Mary's is 2-0 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Gonzaga is 9-11 ATS this season
- St. Mary's has gone OVER in 12 of 22 games this season
St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, February 3rd
- Game Time: 10:30 PM EST
- Venue: McCarthy Athletic Center
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- St. Mary's Record: 17-6
- Gonzaga Record: 16-5
St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga Key Players to Watch
Mitchell Saxen: The Gaels big man is playing an incredible high level as the Gaels continues to rip off wins in WCC play. He is averaging over 11 points per game with nearly eight rebounds and almost two blocks per game. He is also the fulcrum of the Gaels' drop defense, which is holding teams to the ninth lowest two-point field goal percentage in the country.
Graham Ike: The Wyoming transfer has been a force in his first season in Mark Few's system. He is averaging 15 pints per game with seven rebounds and has scored 20 or more in four of five games. However, he'll have his hands full with Saxen and St. Mary's disciplined defense. The game very well could be decided in this battle of big men.
St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga Prediction and Pick
Arguably the biggest games in the mid-major ranks is out west on Saturday night with the St. Mary's Gaels traveling to Gonzaga.
Randy Bennett's group has been smashing teams in WCC team play, and I believe the team's elite defense can keep a lid on the Gonzaga offense. The Gaels drop defense does an incredible job of shutting off the paint for opponents, allowing a top 20 average shot distance, which is impactful against a rim reliant Bulldogs team that is top 100 in average shot distance and shooting 63% on two's in WCC play.
However, Gonzaga is sixth in WCC three-point percentage and have struggled against high-end competition.
The Bulldogs are 0-4 against quad one opponents and posted an adjusted offensive efficiency that ranks 155th in the nation, according to Bart Torvik. Meanwhile, the Gaels are 3-3 against Q1 opponents, but have maintained a stingy defense that is top 20 in adjusted efficiency.
This is a clash of two elite mid-majors, but I give an edge to St. Mary's defense to keep this one close with the teams ability to play this game in the halfcourt and for its emerging offense to take advantage of a Gonzaga defense that is 285th in open three rate this season, per ShotQuality.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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