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College Basketball Betting – Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Mar/10/2020

  • Gonzaga line moves to -9.5 versus Saint Mary's

  • Ninth time in twelve seasons these teams face off against one another in WCC Tournament Tournament

  • Bookmaker welcoming new customers with maximum bonus of $1000 and reloads for current players

While many conferences around the country experience the madness of March during their tournament, the West Coast Conference isn’t one of them. The regular season champion Gonzaga Bulldogs make their 23rd straight appearance in the WCC Tournament final. For the second straight season and for the ninth time in the last 12 years they’ll face the Saint Mary’s Gaels in the title game. Saint Mary’s upset the Bulldogs in last year’s championship bout after losing both regular season meetings. The Gaels went 0-2 this year and are hoping history repeats itself.

Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Orleans Arena, Paradise, NV
Opening College Basketball Odds: Gonzaga -9.5
Saint Mary’s vs. Gonzaga TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

The Bulldogs have been the class of the WCC for years and once again they are a formidable threat to win the national championship. GU beat San Francisco in Monday’s semifinal, 81-77, in what was probably a closer game than most anticipated to reach the 30-win mark for a fourth consecutive season. The Zags failed to cover the 12.5-point spread falling to 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games. The Gaels are in a position similar to what they were in last year. The biggest difference is that they had to play two games ahead of the final instead of one. They also needed to win the final last year to make the NCAA Tournament whereas this year they are an at-large team. Saint Mary’s improved to 26-7 with their semifinal win over BYU and again will be a heavy underdog against the mighty Zags.

Saint Mary’s Gaels

Having success against Gonzaga is a relative term in the WCC. But Saint Mary’s is a team that’s had it. The Gaels are the only team to beat the Zags in the WCC Tournament since 2009, knocking them off three times in the championship game. They lost both regular season games last year by 48 and 14 points before prevailing, 60-47, as a 15-point dog in the final. This season the Gaels lost by a combined 40 points during the regular season meetings.

In terms of down time the teams were on equal ground last season. With the Gaels seeded third this year they had to play a quarterfinal game. And what a game it was. Jordan Ford scored 42 points while playing every minute in an 89-82 double overtime win over Pepperdine. Ford was 17 of 30 from the floor with five three-pointers while scoring the final seven points of the contest.

Ford, who averages 21.7 points, had ‘only’ 18 points in the semifinal win over BYU, but he was just as heroic as the night before. He hit the game-winning shot with 1.4 seconds left sending the Gaels back to the championship game. In two games against the Zags this season Ford averaged 25.5 points and he scored a team high 17 points in last year’s title game upset. There are other pieces mainly Malik Fitts, who finished fourth in the WCC with 16.9 points while pulling down 7.1 boards a game.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Mark Few has built a dynasty in Spokane and they don’t take to losing. You have to be deep, balanced, and most of all good to win 30 games before the NCAAs. Guess what? That’s exactly what Gonzaga is. The Zags come at opponents from all over the floor. The frontcourt, led by WCC Player of the Year Filip Petrusev, is one of if not the best in college basketball. Petrusev’s 17.7 points leads six players averaging in double figures. He also averages a team-best 7.8 rebounds.

With 23 of their 30 wins by double digits the Zags didn’t play many close games. Monday’s semifinal win may have been just what they needed. Showing off their abundance of riches, the Zags advanced to their 23rd straight title game with their second four-point win over the Dons since Feb. 1.

This time it was Joel Ayayi playing the role of hero. He scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, including back-to-back buckets to break a tie with a little over four minutes remaining. He had help. Killian Tillie had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Ryan Woolridge had 16 points as the Zags hit half their field goal attempts. The point total and field goal percentage were below Gonzaga’s national best averages of 89.8 and 53.4 percent.

Bet Saint Mary’s vs. Gonzaga at BookMaker.eu

Gonzaga’s wakeup call came a game early and they’ll be inspired to right the wrong from last year. Saint Mary’s is projected to be in the NCAA Tournament field, so the Zags don’t have to fall on the WCC sword like they did last year. It’s been a grueling two games for the Gaels and I’m not sure they have enough in the tank to hang with the Zags for 40 minutes.

College Basketball Score Prediction: Gonzaga 83, Saint Mary’s 70

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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