Saturday, February 24, 2024

WCC Tournament: Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s odds, picks and predictions

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The No. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs (27-5) enter a rubber match against the No. 16 Saint Mary’s Gaels (26-6) in the WCC Tournament title game Tuesday in Las Vegas at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN). Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s odds, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.

Rankings courtesy of the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll.

After losing 78-70 at Saint Mary’s in overtime, Gonzaga was able to return the favor in the season finale beating the Gaels 77-68 to tie for the regular-season conference title — Saint Mary’s did win the conference tournament’s No. 1 seed through a tiebreaker. This game will be the rubber match as both will look to gain a valuable win for a higher NCAA Tournament seeding.

Gonzaga comes in ranked No. 1 in the country at 88.0 points on offense while Saint Mary’s comes is 6th in defense allowing 59.3 PPG. If the big men of the Gaels can keep Gonzaga from getting 2nd-chance points, this will be another close game. If Gonzaga can use its experience and physical play, it could pull away and win the title.

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Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s odds

Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:56 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline (ML): Gonzaga -145 (bet $145 to win $100) | Saint Mary’s +125 (bet $100 to win $125)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Gonzaga -2.5 (-115) | Saint Mary’s +2.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 138.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

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Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s picks and predictions

Prediction

Gonzaga 77, Saint Mary’s72

Moneyline

PASS.

Gonzaga has the experience advantage. It will also have the talent advantage to make sure it is able to win and head into March on the right foot. Saint Mary’s will be pushed to the brink and with Gonzaga being the favorite, I do not see a wager worth making on the moneyline.

Against the spread

GONZAGA -2.5 (-115).

Both games this season have been decided by more than 5 points. A 2.5-point spread is a bit small with this in mind. Each team has won at home. But with this game being played on a neutral court, I like the offense of the Bulldogs to take control against the defense of the Gaels.

Gonzaga failed to cover in its semifinal game against San Francisco. In its 4 previous instances when it did this, it covered in its next game. For the Gaels, it covered against BYU. The last 4 games following an ATS win, Saint Mary’s has failed to cover in the next outing. Both streaks will continue Tuesday as Gonzaga will cover the small 2.5-point spread.

Over/Under

OVER 138.5 (-110)

Despite Saint Mary’s having the nation’s 6th-defense, it has played games to the Over in 8 of its last 10 neutral site games. It has also gone Over in 4 of its last 5 Tuesday games. Gonzaga has, despite going Under the large 160.5 total Monday, been a constant team to get games Over the total.

Gonzaga has gone Over in 8 of 9 games overall and has gone Over in 7 of 8 following a win. Scoring 88 points a game, the Bulldogs will have the ability to get this game Over almost by itself. But with Saint Mary’s also able to score, averaging 71.9 points, and Gonzaga’s defense allowing 73.6 PPG, the Bulldogs will not have to do it alone.

The 138.5 is too low. If it remains Under 143, the Over is the side.

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