Upcoming Match-ups

Gonzaga vs St. Mary’s Picks and Odds for WCC Title Game

Dave F.

by Dave F. in College Basketball

Mar 8, 2022 · 8:01 AM PST

Gonzaga coach Mark Few on the sideline with his players
Gonzaga coach Mark Few, standing at left, reacts to a call with Chet Holmgren (34), Nolan Hickman (11) and Hunter Sallis (10) during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
  • Top-ranked Gonzaga must win the WCC title game to be in the mix for the top overall seed in the Big Dance when they face Saint Mary’s on March 8 (9:00 pm ET)
  • Saint Mary’s stunned the Zags less than two weeks ago and now tries to do so again as a 13-point betting underdog
  • See the Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s odds and how to wager on Tuesday’s WCC title game

The WCC bracket protects the top seeds. While the tournament began on Friday, top-seeded Gonzaga (25-3, 14-12-2 ATS), and second-seed Saint Mary’s (25-6, 18-11,2) had a bye into last night’s semifinals. Both won, though in each instance they were closer than expected games, and now they square off for the league title in Las Vegas.

In 13 straight years one of these two programs has cut down the nets at the end for the league tournament. The Zags, who reached the Final Four last year, have won two straight and eight of the last nine titles.

Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Odds Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Gonzaga -1000 -12.5(-110) O 141 (-110)
Saint Mary’s +650 +12.5 (-109) U 141 (-110)

Odds as of March 8 at Barstool Sportsbook.

 

The Zags opened up as a 13-point favorite, in a contest that features a total of 141. Tip-off is slated for 9:00pm ET at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. ESPN is televising the title game.

Gonzaga Bulldogs Betting Analysis

The Zags were Cinderellas in the early part of this century, but have firmly been among the best teams in the country recently. Twice in the last five years they have reached the NCAA Tournament Championship Game. This year they are 25-3, and have lost just once since early December and have maintained the best odds to win March Madness throughout the season. They even dipped into negative odds to reach the Final Four at times.

The Zags beat an NCAA Tournament bound San Francisco squad 81-71 on Monday. They led by 20 at halftime, and won by double-digits despite shooting just 3-for-13 on triples.

Gonzaga leads the NCAA in scoring (88 points a game) and scoring margin (+22.8ppg). They are second in the nation in field goal percentage (52.6%), and number three in field goal defense (37.6%)

The Zags are led by freshman Chet Holmgren, who will likely be a top-five NBA draft pick. He averages 14.5 points a game, and 9.6 rebounds a contest, while blocking over 3.5 shots a game and shooting 62-percent.

Fellow big Drew Timme tallies almost 18 points a night, with 6.4 boards a game. This is the 25th straight year the Zags are in the WCC Title Game.

Saint Mary’s Gaels Betting Analysis

Saint Mary’s was a bad program until Randy Bennett began coaching in Moraga, CA. In 21 seasons at the helm he is more than 250 games over .500. The Gaels have danced seven times under Bennett, would have been in the bracket two years ago if COVID-19 didn’t postpone the tournament. They’ll be in the field when it is revealed on Sunday night and are slotted in as a #5 seed in the current March Madness bracket projection. If they beat Gonzaga again, they have a good chance to move up.

The Gaels beat Gonzaga at home February 26, and then were off until last night’s WCC Semifinal. Against Santa Clara, an NCAA bubble team, Saint Mary’s built a 15-point lead but needed some key defense down the stretch to hold on for a 75-72 victory.

The Gaels are ninth in the NCAA defensively, limiting opponents to 59.8 points a game. They play at one of the slowest tempos in the country, a sharp contrast to Gonzaga’s high-flying attack.

The 67-57 victory for the Gaels less than two weeks ago against Gonzaga was the lowest scoring output for the Bulldogs by more than 10 points this season

Four Gaels average between 10 and 13 points a game. Former walk-on Tommy Kuhse has been red hot. Over a five game stretch, he is averaging almost 20 points a contest. Skilled big Matthias Tass leads the way for the season in points (12.6ppg) and rebounds (6.2rpg).

Gonzaga had won six straight meetings with the Gaels, by an average of 18.3 points a game before Saint Mary’s stunner a week ago Saturday. Who can dictate the tempo will go a long way to determining what team covers.

Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Pick

Gonzaga won the first meeting this year 74-58. They dominated the glass, and severely outshot the Gaels. That said, it wasn’t exactly a track meet. Teams that want to play slow usually are able to if they can avoid turnovers. Saint Mary’s won’t give the ball away, and even if they lose, it should be low scoring.

Pick: Under 142 (-110)

Author Image