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

Jeff Grant

Monday, March 11, 2013 3:10 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 11, 2013 3:10 PM GMT

The Gonzaga Bulldogs will try to beat the Saint Mary’s Gaels for a third time this season, as the two teams meet in the West Coast Conference title game for a fifth consecutive year.


Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Basketball betting odds for this high-profile affair at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Lucky to be alive

Saint Mary’s is very fortunate to land in the title game, as it picked up a 69-66 overtime victory over San Diego on Saturday—securing its 19th win in its last 21 games.

The Gaels are 6-3 straight up (SU) and 3-5-1 against the spread (ATS) in March the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 5-3 in that situation.

No. 1 team in the country

Gonzaga earned a 66-48 win over the Loyola Marymount as 21-point home favorites Saturday, as it played its first-ever game as the top-ranked team in the country, while going UNDER the posted total of 131.

The Bulldogs are 13-4 SU and 11-6 ATS when playing on a neutral floor the last two-plus seasons, while the UNDER is 11-6 in that situation.

Dangerous underdogs?

It’s very hard to beat a rival three consecutive times, which is one of the big reasons why the Saint Mary’s Gaels are going to attract some action in the sports betting market, especially since they’ve gone 2-0 ATS as underdogs during the 2012-13 regular season.

The Gaels suffered an 83-78 loss to the Bulldogs as nine-point road underdogs Jan. 10, while going OVER the posted total of 145.5. 

Saint Mary’s was unable to gain revenge as 1.5-point home favorites on Feb. 14, as it allowed Gonzaga to shoot 50 percent from the field in a 77-60 setback.

A lot on the line

Both teams have a lot on the line, with the Bulldogs trying to secure a potential No. 1 seed in the upcoming 2013 NCAA basketball tournament, while the Gaels are seen as a bubble team by many across the country.

Gonzaga owns a narrow 5-4 series lead over the last nine meetings in this series, as it tries to improve to 12-7 SU all-time when playing in the WCC title game. 

Dellavedova

Senior point guard Matthew Dellavedova is going to be difficult to knock out Monday, as he’s averaged 21.3 points in his last seven meetings with the Bulldogs. The Gaels star has already supplied a dramatic moment in this tournament—hitting a game-tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in regulation last time out.

[gameodds]14/224333/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Gaels as one of their college basketball picks tonight, as they won’t be eligible to go dancing the next four years due to penalties handed down on the program by the NCAA this year. 

Gonzaga will definitely feel the pressure of trying to wrap up a No. 1 seed in the tournament, especially against a desperate rival that has revenge on its mind.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Saint Mary’s Gaels +6 at BetOnline

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