NCAA Basketball Picks: St. Mary's vs. Gonzaga MCC Semis

Jeff Grant

Monday, March 10, 2014 1:38 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 10, 2014 1:38 PM GMT

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this West Coast Conference semifinal matchup at the Orleans Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. Can NCAA Basketball bettors find an edge worth taking advantage of?

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have one of the best defenses in the country, which will prove to be too much for the Saint Mary’s Gaels to overcome Monday night.

[gameodds]14/261370/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Familiar spot

Saint Mary’s has advanced to at least the WCC Championship semifinals every season under 13-year head coach Randy Bennett, as it picked up a 80-69 victory over the Pepperdine Waves as six-point favorites in the quarterfinal round last Saturday. 

The Gaels have either won the WCC regular season or tournament title in three of the previous four campaigns. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 8-8 SU and 5-11 ATS when playing on a neutral floor, with no edge in terms of the betting total (8-8 Over/Under). 

Peaking at the right time 

Gonzaga has won three games in a row, including a 77-75 victory over the Santa Clara Broncos as 12.5-point favorites in the quarterfinals last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total of 135.5. 

The Bulldogs are a dominating 42-15 SU overall in the WCC Basketball Championships, as they try and reach their 20th trip to the championship game in this event. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 2-0 SUATS as neutral court favorites of 3.5 to 6 points in its last two opportunities. 

Series history

The Gaels are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS when revenging a home loss versus an opponent the last two-plus seasons, as they dropped a 75-47 decision to the Bulldogs as one-point favorites on March 1.

Saint Mary’s actually dropped both regular-season meetings—knocking down just 27 of 99 shot attempts from the field in those contests. 

Dower Jr. and Pangos 

The Bulldogs are led by forward Sam Dower Jr. and guard Kevin Pangos, who both landed on the All-WCC First Team.

Dower Jr. paced the team in scoring 14.6 points per contest, while Pangos battled through numerous lower body injuries to average 14.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

Read our NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day for more free plays.

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bulldogs as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the Gaels are 1-7 SUATS versus No. 1 seeds in this event. 

Pick:  Gonzaga Bulldogs -6 at Pinnacle 

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