The West Coast Conference Tournament is set to conclude tonight in a game between Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s. They each won their semi-finals last night with victories over San Francisco and Santa Clara. Gonzaga defeated San Francisco in a convincing 81-71 affair. While the score is relatively close, it does not indicate how the game went. Gonzaga got out to a huge lead in the first half, and while San Francisco closed the gap, they were never in danger of losing. Conversely, Saint Mary’s won a close matchup with Santa Clara by the score of 75-72.
Coming into the West Coast Conference Tournament, these were the top two regular-season teams. Gonzaga was ranked first with a 13-1 in-conference record. Saint Mary’s was only slightly behind with a 12-3 record. Both teams performed well in matchups outside the conference. Gonzaga dropped two games, and Saint Mary’s dropped three.
Coming into the game, Gonzaga is the number one seed, and as a result, they are being pegged as the favorite. That being said, an upset is not out of the question. In fact, these two teams faced each other in the final game of the regular season, and Saint Mary’s won. It wasn’t even an incredibly close game as Gonzaga lost by a score of 67-57.
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One game does not make a team the favorite, and it’s important to look at the season as a whole, but it’s good to know that Saint Mary’s can compete with the number one seed. Can they upset them again, or is Gonzaga set to be the West Coast Conference champions?
Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Odds
As the number one seed, Gonzaga is the betting favorite. However, we were surprised to find how big of a favorite they are. Here are the betting odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Spread: Gonzaga -12.5 Saint Mary’s +12.5
- Total: Gonzaga U 140 Saint Mary’s O 140
- Money Line: Gonzaga -800 Saint Mary’s +550
The odds here don’t seem to reflect the closeness of the matchup. As a result, it opens up some interesting betting opportunities.
Gonzaga Betting Outlook
As the favorite, you might think that placing a bet on Gonzaga is a good idea. You aren’t necessarily wrong in that idea, but it doesn’t look like the optimal decision here. You could bet on Gonzaga, and more than half of the time you probably would make a profit. However, the odds put Gonzaga at such a heavy favorite, that your payout will be very low relative to your bet size. -800 odds mean that you need to bet $800 to win $100, and that just isn’t worth it.
For those odds to be worth it, Gonzaga would need to be the overwhelming favorite, and that just isn’t the case. Gonzaga is the favorite, but they were defeated by Saint Mary’s less than two weeks ago. As a result, the risk does not outweigh the reward here.
As for the spread and total, the spread does not make a whole lot of sense to bet. On Gonzaga’s side of the spread, it is set at -12.5. This should be a close game, and as a result, it would be a surprise if Gonzaga won by 13 points or more.
However, betting the under makes a lot of sense. Currently set at 140, it’s very likely that these two teams do not exceed that total. These are two very defensively sound teams, and in their one game earlier this season, only 124 points were scored.
Saint Mary’s Betting Outlook
We at Bet Lions believe that Saint Mary’s is the team to put your money on tonight. They might be the underdog, but they aren’t a +550 underdog. As a result, you have a great opportunity to win a lot of money by betting on Saint Mary’s. They beat Gonzaga less than two weeks ago, and they could certainly do it again.
Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Prediction
Going into this game, it’s hard to nail down a solid prediction. Both teams are looking fantastic, and they both had amazing regular seasons. Gonzaga has the slight edge record-wise, but having two more losses is not very significant for Saint Mary’s. Still, we need to give Gonzaga the edge as the superior regular-season team.
That being said, the head to head record of these two teams was 1-1. They played twice in February after not playing earlier in the season. The first matchup came on February 12th. Gonzaga was at home, and they beat Saint Mary’s by the score of 74-58. It wasn’t a very close game, but they faced again on February 26th, and this time Saint Mary’s won by the score of 67-57. Both teams had dominant victories, and while Gonzaga won by more, Saint Mary’s won more recently.
Finally, Gonzaga gets the edge in advanced stats as they lead in most categories. While Saint Mary’s is elite in almost all categories, they struggle offensively. Gonzaga is the number two team in the nation with an adjusted offensive efficiency of 121.3. Conversely, Saint Mary’s is the number 67 team with an adjusted offensive efficiency of 109.6. Defense is a strength for both teams as Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are ranked 4th and 10th in the nation, respectively.
With that in mind, we think Gonzaga will win 70-65. However, we still think you should bet on Saint Mary’s.
Where to Watch
You can catch this game on ESPN at 9 PM EST.