College Basketball Picks: Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Saint Mary’s Gaels vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Thursday, 1/2/14, 9:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Gonzaga -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Gonzaga -7
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have dominated conference opponents at home in recent years
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have dominated conference opponents at home in recent years

Saint Mary’s ended its three-game losing streak by picking up an 88-80 victory over the Pacific Tigers as three-point road favorites Monday, while going OVER the betting total for the sixth time in seven contests.  The Gaels have won a school-record 14 conference games each of the last two seasons, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.  Over the last two-plus seasons, the program owns a 73-16 SU record in league play.  Saint Mary’s is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games versus a team with a winning record.

The Gaels have four probable starters averaging double figures, with junior forward Brad Waldo leading the way at 16.8 points a contest.  He has started 72 of 81 games during his career on campus, while being the only WCC player to rank in the top 10 in points, rebounds and field goal percentage.  It’s important to point out that Saint Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett will be serving the second of a five-game suspension that was handed down on March 1, 2013.

Gonzaga has won back-to-back games, including a 69-41 victory over the San Francisco Dons as 15-point home favorites last time out, while going UNDER the betting total for a fourth consecutive contest.  The Bulldogs have won their last 21 home games against league foes, which is important to consider when making your college basketball betting picks.  Offensively, the team will need a big game out of leading scorer Kevin Pangos, who is averaging 17.6 points per game—but dealing with turf toe.  Gonzaga is 5-2-1 ATS in its last eight games versus conference opponents.

The Bulldogs are hoping that center Sam Dower Jr. is able to return to the floor, as he’s missed the last two games with an ailing back.  Gonzaga tied the McCarthey Athletic Center record for fewest points allowed in WCC play in the 10 years it has played in the facility last time out.  The program is averaging 10.29 turnovers per game, which is slightly lower than its 11.23 figure during the 2012-13 campaign.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 7-1 in the last eight series meetings in Spokane.

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