NCAA Basketball Picks: Strong Home Court Advantage Helps BYU To Win & Cover Over St. Mary's

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, February 4, 2016 4:01 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 4:01 PM UTC

Tonight we are offered the clash between St. Mary's and BYU. BYU has a strong home court advantage playing at the Marriott Center. Will they be able to cover for our NCAA basketball picks?


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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: BYU -2
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


St. Mary’s vs. BYU (-3) 9:00 ET
The St. Mary’s Gaels travel to Provo, Utah for this 9:00 ET tip against the BYU Cougars. When these two teams met earlier this season in Moraga, St. Mary’s prevailed by a count of 85-74. Look for the Cougars to return the favor tonight.

St. Mary’s is one of the more intriguing stories in NCAA Basketball. Known for little else in the sporting world, St. Mary’s has had an outstanding men’s college basketball team for more than the last decade. Credit HC Randy Bennett, who in 15 years has transformed the Gaels into a perennial challenger for WCC superiority. This year, less was expected of St. Mary’s, as they had NO RETURNING STARTERS. But, Bennett continues to work his magic. This year, he took a group of misfit players with little in common, recruited from around the globe, and turned them into a chemistry rich, fundamentally sound hoop team. With the benefit of a favorable early schedule, featuring 11 of 13 games at their strong home court of McKeon Pavilion, the Gaels jumped to national prominence with a 13-1 SU, 12-0 ATS start. It was at the point, however, that the linemaker had enough and began to overprice St. Mary’s. As a result, St. Mary’s has failed to cover their last 5 conference games. We can look to PLAY AGAINST them tonight, using a BYU team that has plenty going for it.

Let’s start with the fact that BYU plays in the near-mile high altitude of Provo, Utah. That’s a 5,000 foot altitude difference above St. Mary’s. With each team having 5 days’ rest, that has translated into a meaningful edge for the home team in the course of history. Then there is the Marriott Center itself, the strong home court of BYU. It is here the Cougars have gone 54-6 SU 3+Y, including an undefeated 10-0 SU this season. All of those victories have come by 7 or more points. In fact, BYU has been an excellent pointspread play at home with a 6-1 ATS record, as home chalk. That mark is not unusual for Cougars’ 10th year HC Dave Rose, whose backers have thrived with a record of 179-113 ATS (11-5 ATS TY) when Rose’s Cougars have been installed as a favorite.

With the help of altitude, 11 point revenge and the strong home boards of the Marriott Center, look for BYU to get the win and cover tonight. I invite you to put the NCAA basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA basketball pick on BYU tonight.

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