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

No. 5 Gonzaga Bulldogs at Saint Mary’s Gaels
Thursday, 2/15/13, 11:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Gonzaga PK
Current Betting Line:  Gonzaga -1
Opening Total:  144
Current Total:  143
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are one of the top shooting teams in the country
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are one of the top shooting teams in the country

Gonzaga remained undefeated in West Coast Conference play with a 74-55 win over Loyola Marymount as 24.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the total for the seventh time in eight contests.  The Bulldogs will now prepare to face an opponent that would love to gain revenge from an 83-78 defeat in the first meeting this year on Jan. 10.  “It will be a very intense game that will be very physical,” commented Bulldogs coach Mark Few.  Gonzaga is 21-21 ATS versus conference opponents the last two-plus years, which can’t be ignored when making your NCAA basketball picks Thursday night.

The Bulldogs are 55-27 all-time against the Gaels, but they’ve split the last eight meetings in the series.  Gonzaga deserves to be respected when looking over the college basketball odds page, considering both of its losses have come against ranked opponents during the 2012-13 season.  It’s also important to note that 16 of its 23 wins this season have come by a double-digit margin, as it manages to shoot 50.7 percent from the field.

Saint Mary’s has won a season-best nine-straight games, which happens to be tied for the fifth-longest win streak in school history.  The Gaels are second in the conference in allowing just 64.0 points per game, which has led to a point differential of plus-13.8.  The team is second behind tonight’s opponent in terms of field goal percentage, while pacing all programs in knocking down 73.1 percent of its attempts from the charity stripe.  Saint Mary’s is 2-0 ATS as an underdog this season, which makes them playable when making your college basketball picks against the spread.

The Gaels are led on the offensive end by senior All-America candidate Matthew Dellavedova, who is one of four players that averages double figures, scoring 15.6 points and dishing out 6.6 assists per game.  Over the last six seasons, Saint Mary’s has lost just once at home to a WCC opponent other than Gonzaga, while going 37-4 overall in that particular situation.

Sports bettors will likely play the total in this affair, as the OVER is 7-1 in the last eight meetings in Moraga.

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