#12 Gonzaga Bulldogs at #18 Saint Mary’s Gaels Betting Preview
The top two teams in the West Coast Conference collide this weekend when the #12 Gonzaga Bulldogs (19-4, 8-1 WCC) visit the #18 Saint Mary’s Gaels (20-4, 9-0 WCC). Saturday’s matchup is the first of the season between the first and second place teams in the conference with the two meeting again later this month.
The tipoff is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. EST inside University Credit Union Pavilion in Moraga, California. Saint Mary’s is a 3.5-point favorite, with the over/under total at 137.5 points.
What to Know – #12 Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have rebounded from their lone conference loss in mid-January to win their last three matchups and stay one-game back of the Gaels in the conference race. Gonzaga ranks 17th in the nation in KenPom, third in adjusted offensive efficiency, and 80th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
On offense, Gonzaga leads the conference scoring 86.4 points per game thanks to 52.1% shooting from the floor and 38.6% shooting from the 3-point line. The Bulldogs defense holds opposing teams to 73.2 ppg, 44.4% shooting from the field, and 34.5% shooting from beyond the arc.
Drew Timme leads Gonzaga and the WCC in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game. Timme’s 60.4% shooting from the field ranks 25th amongst all eligible shooters in Division 1. Julian Strawther is second on the team and 13th in the conference, pouring in 14.6 ppg for the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga is 8-14 against the spread with a 1-5 record ATS on the road. The Bulldogs own a 12-5-1 record ATS over the last 18 contests against St. Mary’s.
What to Know – #18 Saint Mary’s Gaels
Saint Mary’s host the Bulldogs in a massive conference clash as the Gaels look to remain undefeated in the conference and build a two-game advantage over Gonzaga. The Gaels sit seventh in KenPom’s rankings, 45th in adjusted offensive efficiency, and fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Saint Mary’s offense is quite the contrast to Gonzaga’s, ranking last in the WCC, averaging 71.3 points per game. The Gaels connect on 46.1% of their attempts from the field and 37.6% shooting from deep.
Defensively, Saint Mary’s leads the conference limiting foes to only 57.2 ppg, 39.6% shooting from the field, and 30.8% from three.
Aidan Mahaney paces the Gales in scoring, averaging 14.8 ppg thanks to an efficient 43.4% shooting from three. Saint Mary’s balanced scoring attack features three other players averaging in double figures, the trio including Mitchell Saxen (12.5 ppg), Alex Ducas (12.4 ppg), and Logan Johnson (12.3 ppg).
The Gaels own a 13-8-2 record ATS and a 7-5-2 mark ATS on their home court. Saint Mary’s is 6-2 ATS in its previous eight Saturday matchups.
The Pick is In
Two contrasting styles of game play hit the floor Saturday night in the biggest game in the WCC this season. The cream usually rises to the top in these showdowns so look for Timme to put the Bulldogs on his back and lead Gonzaga to a late victory.
The Pick: #18 Gonzaga Bulldogs +3.5