Gear up for March Madness with SBR's NCAA Tournament Betting page.
St. Mary's Gaels vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
We are of the opinion Gonzaga will storm past St. Mary's in the WCC title game this evening.
If you like the Zags, you need to act fast and jump on the spread at five, as it should only keep rising throughout the day. It's already too late at some outlets, which have already seen their lines move to 5.5.
Gonzaga had a BYE in the first round and then topped Loyola Marymount 66-48. It was a struggle in the first half, but the Zags had too much firepower in the second half and their inferior opponents simply could not keep up.
Kelly Olynyk, the player of the year in the WCC, struggled in the win over the Lions, yet the Zags still won by 18. Elias Harris stepped up and put up 21 points and eight boards, while Kevin Pangos hit some big shots early in the second half, finishing with 14 points of his own.
As for St. Mary's, they needed overtime to beat San Diego in their semi-finals matchup. Matthew Dellavedova hit a clutch three to send the game into the extra period and the Gaels were able to hold on for the spot in the finals. The Australian point guard shot just 2-of-12 from the floor, but he still made a difference with a game-high 12 assists. It was Brad Waldow though that exploded, scoring 23 points to go with 16 rebounds and four blocks in the win.
So why Gonzaga tonight? They've won 13 in a row, are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 neutral site games, and have been out of this world defensively lately. They've allowed 51.4 PPG on 32.3 percent shooting over their last five.
The Bulldogs have already beaten the Gaels twice, and while we realize it's always difficult to beat a team three times in a season, we think the size and overall experience of Gonzaga is going to be too much to handle, especially if Dellavedova's shots aren't going down again.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Gonzaga Bulldogs -5
Manhattan Jaspers vs. Iona Gaels
The MAAC final takes place tonight and will feature the Iona Gaels and the Manhattan Jaspers, with a spot in the NCAA Tournament up for grabs.
It's relatively surprising that this is our championship game, considering the Gaels came into the tournament ranked #4 and the Jaspers were #6. However, here we are, and we can expect a terrific game of basketball which should come down to the wire.
Right now, Iona is favored by four points on most NCAA Basketball odds boards. They have the better overall record, but these teams split the season series, with each school winning on their home floor.
Upsets are always brewing come March and we really love how the Jaspers have been playing, which is why they're our college basketball pick here. They've gone through a ton of adversity, yet are on the brink of a MAAC championship.
Manhattan was expected to do very well this season, but that was with a healthy George Beamon running the show. However, he suffered a serious ankle injury just four games into the season and has missed basically the entire year.
Without Beamon, who averaged 19.0 PPG (on 48.5 percent shooting overall and 42.7 percent from three) and 5.6 RPG as a junior, the Jaspers were forced to adapt and change their style from an up-tempo offensive team to one that gets the job done through their defense. The results, as you can see, speak for themselves – they've surrendered 50.4 PPG over their previous five contests ahead of tonight.
Manhattan has won eight of ten and are coming off a dominant 60-42 win over Fairfield in the semi-final round. We think they can get another W over Iona if they control the tempo again and force the frenzied Gaels to play at their pace.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Manhattan Jaspers +4 (also consider the UNDER 134)[gameodds]14/224418/43/us[/gameodds]