- Saint Mary’s (14-8, 5-6 WCC) battles #1 Gonzaga (24-0, 15-0 WCC) on Monday, March 8 at 9:00 pm ET in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament
- Gonzaga demolished Saint Mary’s in both meetings this year by a combined 36 points
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
We don’t fault Saint Mary’s for serving as a doormat in two games against #1 Gonzaga this season. That’s the treatment the Bulldogs have given all their opponents, en route to a perfect 24-0 record entering the West Coast Conference tournament.
Monday marks the semifinal round of WCC’s tournament, where the 1st-seeded Bulldogs meet the 4th-seeded Gaels at 9:00 pm ET.
After beating Saint Mary’s by 36 combined points in their regular season matchups, Gonzaga will go for a third win as massive favorites.
Saint Mary’s vs #1 Gonzaga Odds
|Saint Mary’s||+18 (-110)||+1200||Over 142 (-110)|
|Gonzaga||-18 (-110)||-2500||Under 142 (-110)|
Odds as of March 8th, 2021 at FanDuel.
How They’ve Fared Recently
This game is a really fun clash of styles, with Gonzaga’s third-fastest average possession length going up against the 345th-fastest average possession length of Saint Mary’s.
Gonzaga isn’t just fast — it’s lethal. The Bulldogs are 1st in Division I in adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage and two-point percentage. They’re also in the top 100 in every other important offensive category (turnover rate, free throw percentage, three-point percentage, etc.).
The final #SlomoSeries Sunday of the year from last night’s Senior Night win over Loyola Marymount. pic.twitter.com/n02wY8AIrZ
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) March 1, 2021
The Bulldogs have exactly one single-digit win this season (87-82 over #6 West Virginia on Dec. 2). Aside from that, they’ve whooped everybody by at least 11.
Saint Mary’s doesn’t have a lot of good wins (only one against a KenPom top-100 team), but they haven’t had many bad losses, either (only two losses against teams outside the KenPom top 100).
The Gaels’ defense (12th in D-I in adjusted efficiency) is their strong suit. Combined with their molasses-like pace of play, Saint Mary’s has yielded 65 or fewer points in 15 of its 22 games.
The Gaels are moving on to the semifinals ???????? #GaelsRise @saintmaryshoops pic.twitter.com/1exjdRMs4E
— Saint Mary’s Gaels (@smcgaels) March 7, 2021
Here’s something that might be a factor: Saint Mary’s won’t have any risk of rust on Monday, given that they just toppled Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Gonzaga, meanwhile, hasn’t played since Feb. 27.
Gonzaga is 11-11-2 against the spread this year, while Saint Mary’s is 10-12 ATS. The problem for Gonzaga is that they are held in such a high regard (and rightfully so) that they often face a monumental spread.
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) February 28, 2021
Monday’s 18-point cushion actually snaps a streak of four games in which Gonzaga was favored by 20 or more (they went 2-2 ATS in that span).
The over has hit in five straight Gonzaga games, while Saint Mary’s has seen the under hit in four consecutive games.
Though Gonzaga soundly won both meetings straight up this season, the ATS results were much narrower. Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga both took a game, and both of the ATS margins were just two points. Pat yourselves on the back, oddsmakers.
In the first game, Gonzaga was favored by 16. In the second, they were favored by 20. Now it’s split down the middle at 18. We don’t have to tell you how obvious (albeit unprofitable) a Gonzaga money line pick is here. But with 18 points of leeway, we’ll take the Gaels to cover the spread.
- Pick: Saint Mary’s +18 (-110)