St. Mary's -10 Our NCAA Basketball Pick As They Visit Santa Clara In Underrated Rivalry

Charles Stark

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 1:06 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 1:06 PM GMT

For NCAA basketball action Wednesday we have one of the more underrated rivalries in the country when St. Mary's College visits Santa Clara. Find out our NCAA basketball pick for this game.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: St. Mary's -10
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

NCAA Basketball Odds Overview
NCAA Basketball odds have St. Mary's as a -10 -110 favorite across the board like at BetOnline. Usually, and especially in a rivalry, it is hard to lay double-digit on the road favorite, but St. Mary's is simply that much better, which will make them one of my NCAA picks minus the points. I expect Santa Clara to play some inspired basketball, but it will not be enough as St. Mary should win this game by 15 or more on Wednesday night.

 

St. Mary's Gaels
St. Mary's comes in averaging 81.1 point per game while shooting 54.8% from the field, and allowing 58.2 points per game on 38.6% shooting from the field. They have started off extremely hot this season at 9-1 with their only loss by a few points at a very good California team. Surprisingly, St. Mary's was not supposed to be that good this year, but with head coach Randy Bennett you know you're going to get a team that plays hard on both ends of the floor. They have really been under the radar actually, but offensively they rank number one in the country in effective field-goal percentage, three point percentage, shooting percentage, and shooting efficiency. They move the ball really well and average 20.7 assist per game which ranks fourth in the country, and to top it all off, they are also ranked first in the country in assist to turnover ratio. Their competition has not been overwhelming, but they have beaten two decent teams in Stanford and UC Irvine by 17 and 10 points respectively. On the defensive side, the Gaels rank fifth in scoring defense and 16th in opponent two point percentage. Overall, this is a very well-rounded team and along with BYU the only serious threat to Gonzaga in the WCC.

 

Santa Clara Broncos
Santa Clara is averaging 53.8 points per game while shooting 41% of the field, and allowing 57.8 points per game on 39.9% duty from the field. They have an extremely good guard in Jared Brownridge, who is arguably the best player they have had since even Steve Nash, but not a whole lot after him. What is probably most surprising about this line is the fact that Santa Clara took Arizona to overtime, yet they are still a double-digit underdog at home tonight. After starting off the year on a really bad note, they had a nice little winning streak up until their last two road games at Nevada and Pacific in which they lost by a combined four points. Offensively they don't do anything particularly well, but they shoot the three decently at 35% per game, and they are unselfish averaging just under 15 assists, which is also decent. They play their best basketball on the defensive side and their opponent shooting percentage ranks in the top part of the country. Although they are expected to be a bit better this season, I think St. Mary's just brings too much to the table against them.

As mentioned, it is never easy to lay double-digit on the road with any team in any game in college basketball, especially a rivalry like this. Santa Clara has been a team of two faces this season, playing great in some contest and not so much in others. I think the odds makers got it right, though, and for one of your NCAA basketball picks, I recommend backing St. Mary's in this spot to win going away. Although this is a road game, the trip to Santa Clara is not very far and this is a good spot to face a less than rowdy crowd during the winter break. Expect St. Mary's hot start to continue tonight.

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