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Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s – 3/2/19 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Predictions

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs Saint Mary’s Gaels College Basketball Saturday Mar 2, 2019 (10:00pm est) Current Odds: Gonzaga -9.5, Total Points 145

Gonzaga Bulldogs Betting Trends:

Gonzaga is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Gonzaga is 6-12-1 ATS in its last 19 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Gonzaga’s last 5 games on the road
Gonzaga is 14-2 ATS in its last 16 games when playing Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s Baels Betting Trends:

Saint Mary’s is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Saint Mary’s last 5 games
Saint Mary’s is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Saint Mary’s-California’s last 9 games at home

One more step remains for Gonzaga in its quest for a perfect West Coast Conference record.

The No. 1 Bulldogs close out their regular season Saturday night with a trip to Moraga, Calif., for a game with Saint Mary’s, a team they hammered 94-46 on Feb. 9 at home in Spokane. The loss stung veteran coach Randy Bennett and the proud Gaels.

“I’d like to say we played hard, but we didn’t,” he said that night. “They crushed us inside.”

How lopsided was that game? Gonzaga owned a 52-20 advantage in points in the paint and outrebounded Saint Mary’s 42-31. It was 30-10 midway through the first half and 74-33 before the second TV timeout of the second half.

No doubt this one will be more competitive. McKeon Pavilion is essentially a high school gym on steroids. It’s one of the loudest venues on the West Coast and can be worth a few baskets per game to the home team.

As good as the Zags (28-2, 15-0) have been, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Gaels make this a game. They’re coming off their 20th win of the season, an easy 65-48 decision at home over hapless Portland, and clinched second place in the WCC, thanks to San Francisco’s come-from-ahead home loss to San Diego.

The main perk out of that is that Saint Mary’s (20-10, 11-4) joins Gonzaga in claiming the coveted double bye for the conference tournament semifinals March 11 in Las Vegas. Two wins are all it will need to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

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Of course, the conference’s 500-pound gorilla figures to be the obstacle, just like Saturday night. And the Zags showed Thursday night in an 86-66 rout at Pacific that they’re not into helping other teams celebrate their senior night.

After the Tigers feted their two seniors, including leading scorer Roberto Gallinat, before the game, they actually took a 10-6 lead just over six minutes into the game. Then Gonzaga unfurled a 33-10 run that lasted for the half’s remainder, essentially turning the second half into a race to the final horn.

“For the most part, our defense won the first half and our offense won the second half,” Zags coach Mark Few said. “It was kind of a tale of two halves. They’re a tough team. They’re physical and athletic. A 20-point win on the road against a tough team on senior night, I’m happy with that.”

Gonzaga’s offensive efficiency and underrated defense was too much for Pacific. Rui Hachimura pumped in a game-high 27 points, while Brandon Clarke added 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. While the Zags lead Division I in scoring, field goal percentage and assist-turnover ratio, Clarke said defense is actually the key.

“We just really worked on our defense a lot, our focus on the scouting report every game and having that overall focus,” he said. “People say that defense is the best offense, so I really feel like that’s true when I can block shots.”

Today’s Free Pick: Gonzaga -9 -120

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