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

Saint Mary’s Gaels at No. 9 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Thursday, 1/10/12, 11:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Gonzaga -10
Current Betting Line:  Gonzaga -9.5
Opening Total:  148.5
Current Total:  147.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are just 2-4 ATS as home favorites of 9.5 to 12 points

Saint Mary’s has won four consecutive games since suffering a loss at Northern Iowa, which includes a 74-61 victory over Loyola Marymount as 17-point home favorites, while going UNDER the total in two-straight contests.  The Gaels are led by point guard Matthew Dellavedova, who is averaging 17.4 points and a West Coast Conference-leading 6.7 assists per game.  He has compiled a remarkable 89-24 record as a starter since joining the program.  Saint Mary’s is 4-6 ATS as an underdog over the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 8-2 in those affairs.

The Gaels will be trying to score 70 or more points against the Bulldogs, as they’ve won 100 of their last 109 games over the last four years when reaching that mark.  Saint Mary’s is second in the league in scoring, while leading the WCC in shooting 76.5 percent from the charity stripe.  Dellavedova, Tim Williams and Mitchell Young own a 92-24 mark as four-year players.

Gonzaga returns home after sweeping through a three-game road trip, as the team has won six straight, including an 81-74 victory over the Santa Clara Broncos as 5.5-point favorites Saturday.  The Bulldogs have gone OVER the total in five of their last seven opportunities, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.  The team holds a 54-27 all-time lead in this series, but has dropped four of the last seven meetings, including a 78-74 setback in the conference championship last year as two-point favorites.  Gonzaga is 2-4 ATS as a home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points, with the UNDER going 4-2 in that situation.

The Bulldogs are certainly one of the best offensive teams nationally, something to consider when making your college basketball picks against the spread, as they average 80.7 points per game.  Gonzaga is shooting 51.5 percent from the field overall, with junior Kelly Olynyk hitting 83 of 123 shots this season.  The squad is 55-2 at home in WCC games since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened for the 2004-05 campaign.

Sports bettors will likely back the Gaels due to their 7-3 ATS record versus good offensive teams, while the Bulldogs are 6-9 ATS in January.

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