NCAA Basketball Pick: Loyola-Marymount +24 over Gonzaga

LT Profits Sports Group

Saturday, February 9, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 5:00 AM UTC

The Gonzaga Bulldogs could already have one eye on a big road date at Saint Mary’s up next, so take the big points with a Loyola-Marymount team that usually does not get blown out.

The big points seem worth taking in a big look-ahead spot when the Loyola-Marymount Lions (8-15, 2-7 away) pay a visit to the Gonzaga Bulldogs (22-2, 11-1 home) at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, WA at 8:00 ET in a game available on ROOT.

The point spread at 5 Dimes has Loyola-Marymount as a huge underdog for this contest with the current line at +24 with odds of -102.

These teams met at Loyola-Marymount on January 31st with Gonzaga winning in a 45-point romp 88-43, but that may actually work against the Bulldogs from a betting standpoint here as a humongous favorite, as Gonzaga has a huge road date at Saint Mary’s up next on Thursday in the game that could very well determine the West Coast Conference title.

You see, there is little doubt that Gonzaga can name the score here, but the Bulldogs know that too so they are almost undoubtedly game planning for the Gaels already and will probably just cruise through this contest with no need to run up the score.

Gonzaga is now ranked sixth on the AP poll as the Zags are a perfect 9-0 in WCC play and have won five straight games since losing by one point in a non-conference game at Butler. The Zags are also ranked ninth overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, ranking fourth in the country in offensive efficiency and 43rd in defensive efficiency.

The Bulldogs are a great shooting team, ranking ninth in effective field goal percentage, eighth in two-point shooting at a blazing 55.2 percent and 38th in three-point offense. The defense has not always been there though as the Zags rank 89th in field goal percentage against, 67th in two-point defense and 149th in three-point defense, and that could allow Loyola-Marymount to hang around a bit, especially with Gonzaga not fully focused on this game.

Now the Lions are just 1-9 in conference play, but six of those nine conference losses were by single-digits, the one win came vs. a good Santa Clara team and Marymount also lost by only three points to a ranked Mississippi team during the non-conference portion of its schedule. Furthermore, besides their first encounter with Gonzaga, the Lions only lost one other game all season by more than tonight’s 24-point spread at BYU.

Another reason why Marymount could hang around a bit is leading scorer Anthony Ireland, who ranks second in the WCC in scoring while averaging 19.8 points. Ireland is looking to lead the team in scoring for the tenth straight game, and he is looking to improve on the 19 points he scored against Gonzaga in the first matchup.

It is comforting to know that even a 20-point loss would cover this number, so take the points with the Loyola-Marymount Lions on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Loyola-Marymount +24 (-102)

comment here