Loyola Marymount Stays Within Spread at Saint Mary’s

Willie Bee

Thursday, December 28, 2017 1:39 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 1:39 PM UTC

With 11 straight wins over Loyola Marymount, it’s no surprise to see the NCAA basketball odds favor Saint Mary’s at home tonight in the West Coast Conference opener.

NCAA Season Record: 17-18

Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary'sFree NCAAB Pick: LMU +17Best Line Offered: Heritage

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3343604, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1275,186,1389,238], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

We’ve reached that point of the college hoops campaign when most of the focus will be away from the mid-majors. A lot of that is due to the major networks desiring the biggest return on the advertising dollar, thus their emphasis on marquee matchups from the Power 6 conferences (if we include Big East). In other words, fat chance it will be easy to tune into games like Thursday’s West Coast collision between the Loyola Marymount Lions and Saint Mary’s Gaels.

As luck would have it, this one is available for streaming on ESPN3, tip-off at McKeon Arena coming at 11 PM (ET). 5Dimes is forcing SMC backers to donate 17 points to the cause and lists 148 for the scoreboard hurdle.

Landale Looks To Extend Double-Double Streak

Loyola Marymount didn’t build up any steam in advance of its West Coast Conference fixture, the Lions dropping four of their last five including road losses at Washington and Oregon State, a pair of Pac-12 teams that rank far behind the Gaels on the KenPom chart. Mike Dunlap’s team did manage to cover both of those games, however, with the setbacks to the Huskies and Beavers by a combined six points. Defense has been a problem for LMU, ranking in the bottom third of the country in allowing close to 79 points per game with opponents connecting on over 47% of their field goal attempts.

That could be a big problem against Randy Bennett’s bunch that is 13th in the nation sinking 51% from the field and averaging 81.5 PPG (45th). The Gaels even shot well in their two losses, consecutive setbacks to Washington State and Georgia at the Wooden Legacy, bouncing back from that to win their next six and splitting covers on the four that made NCAA basketball odds boards. Jock Landale has been a beast inside, the junior coming into Thursday’s game with a string of five double-doubles and eight overall this year.

Series History, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Saint Mary’s looks to extend its 11-game win streak over LMU, the Gaels owning a big 90-54 all-time advantage in the rivalry after winning 22 of the last 23. They covered both victories a year ago, including what was the WCC opener for both teams in LA. Four of the last six in Moraga sent ‘under’ bettors back to the pay window, Saint Mary’s covering three of the last four on this floor.

The Gaels should win by 25+ at home, but I wonder how long Bennett lest them run with a trip to face BYU two days from now. Gimme the points for my free college basketball pick.

comment here