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Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s Prediction, Odds & Player Props (Mar. 22)

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Basketball

Updated Mar 22, 2024 · 11:04 AM PDT

Saint Mary's Gaels guard Alex Ducas celebrates
March 12, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Saint Mary's Gaels guard Alex Ducas (44) celebrates against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second half in the finals of the WCC Basketball Championship at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
  • Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s concludes Round 1 of the March Madness tournament
  • The college basketball odds favor the Lopes over the Gaels in Washington
  • Read below for Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s prediction, odds and player props to bet

The first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament concludes with an intriguing 5 v12 matchup in the West Region as the No. 5 Saint Mary’s Gaels take on the No. 12 Grand Canyon Antelopes. Tipoff is scheduled for 10:05 PM EDT on Friday, March 22nd at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Washington.

Saint Mary’s enters as a 5.5-point favorite, with the over/under total set at 131.5 points. Player props are also available, with Tyon Grant-Foster projected to have a big evening.

Let’s delve into our Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s prediction, as we analyze the odds and determine the top player props to wager on.

Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Grand Canyon +5.5 (+100) +200 Over 130.5 (-105)
Saint Mary’s -5.5 (-120) -245 Under 130.5 (-115)

In the Grand Canyon vs St. Mary’s Odds, the Gaels are -245 moneyline favorites, giving them an implied win probability of 69%. As the +200 underdogs, St. Mary’s implied win probability is 33%.

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Odds as of March 22nd, 2024, at ESPN Bet. Browse the available March Madness betting promos for Friday night college basketball.

Grand Canyon Betting Trends

The Grand Canyon Antelopes, out of the Western Athletic Conference, come into the Big Dance with a 29-4 overall record and riding a five-game winning streak after capturing the WAC tournament title. GCU is making its third NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Bryce Drew in the last four years.

In their most recent outing, the Lopes defeated Southern Utah 84-66 in the WAC championship game behind 24 points from WAC Player of the Year Tyon Grant-Foster. The 6’7″ senior guard has been sensational all season, leading GCU in scoring at 19.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.

Joining Grant-Foster in the potent Lopes backcourt is junior point guard Ray Harrison, who averages 13.7 points and a team-high 3.9 assists. Senior forward Gabe McGlothan (13.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg) anchors the frontcourt and is expected to be at full strength after being limited by a hip injury late in the season.

As a team, Grand Canyon puts up 79.8 points per game (21st in the nation) and ranks 22nd in points per transition play according to ShotQualityBets.

The Lopes are a stellar 18-7 against the spread as an underdog dating back to 2020. They have covered in both games as a dog this season, beating San Diego State and Liberty outright in early December. GCU is 18-14 ATS overall, including 4-1 ATS on neutral courts, and has covered in five straight coming into the tournament.

Saint Mary’s Betting Trends

The Saint Mary’s Gaels punched their ticket to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament by winning the West Coast Conference tournament. They capped off by a 77-51 rout of rival Gonzaga in the championship game. SMC has won 18 of its last 19 games overall, improving to 26-7 on the season.

Under head coach Randy Bennett, the Gaels are known for their methodical offensive tempo and stifling defense. Saint Mary’s allows just 58.7 points per game, the second-lowest mark in Division I. They rank 15th in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom.

Offensively, the Gaels make opponents defend deep into the shot clock, ranking 357th out of 363 teams in adjusted tempo. Saint Mary’s has a balanced attack with five players averaging double-figure points, led by sophomore guard Aidan Mahaney at 13.9 per game.

Junior point guard Augustas Marciulionis, son of Hall of Famer Sarunas, chips in 12.4 points and 5.2 assists per contest. Senior center Mitchell Saxen (11.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg) patrols the paint, while senior Alex Ducas (10.1 ppg) is a 44.2% three-point shooter.

The Gaels are 18-14 against the spread this season, though just 2-4 ATS on neutral floors. They have covered in eight of their last ten games overall, beating the number by an average of 6.5 points in that span. Saint Mary’s is 14-14 ATS as a favorite this year. Like Grand Canyon, the over is 17-15 in their games.

Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s Player Props

Player props are readily available for the Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s showdown, with Tyon Grant-Foster sporting the largest point total on the board at 17.5. Mitchell Saxen has the highest rebound total at 7.5, with the juice favoring his “over.”

Player Points Rebounds Assists Three-Pointers Made
Tyon Grant-Foster 17.5 (O Even | U -140) 5.5 (O -115 | U -125) 1.5 (O -120 | U -120) 1.5 (O -160 | U +110)
Aidan Mahaney 14.5 (O -120 | U -120) 3.5 (O Even | U -140) 2.5 (O -105 | U -135) 1.5 (O +165 | U 09Z-)
Mitchell Saxen 13.5 (O -120 | U -120) 7.5 (O -125 | U -115) 1.5 (O -120 | U -120) 2.5 (O Even | U -140)
Ray Harrison 13.5 (O -110 | U -130) 2.5 (O -185 P+ | U +130) 3.5 (O -105 | U -135) OFF
Augustas Marciulionis 13.5 (O -115 | U -125) 3.5 (O -115 | U -125) 5.5 (O Even | U -140) 1.5 (O +160 | U otz-)
Alex Ducas 10.5 (O -115  | U -125) 6.5 (O -150 | U +105) 1.5 (O -160 | U +110) 0.5 (O -250 P+ | U +165)

College basketball player props as of March 21st, at ESPN Bet.


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When making player prop picks for Grand Canyon vs St. Mary’s, you can’t go wrong targeting Tyon Grant-Foster over 17.5 points. The WAC Player of the Year is the engine that makes the Lopes go. Grant-Foster has scored 20+ points in 5 of his last 7 games and will need another big performance for 12-seed GCU to pull the upset.

The athletic 6’7″ wing should be able to get his against a Saint Mary’s defense that can struggle with quick, downhill guards. Lay the short price on the over here in the CBB player props, as this line could move closer to 20 come game time.

Another player prop bet we like is Alex Ducas over 7.5 rebounds (-127 at Caesars best line). Ducas has been a rebounding machine lately for the Gaels, averaging over 7 boards per game since late December.

At 6’6″, he has the size to crash the glass against a Grand Canyon team that ranks just 51st nationally in rebounding. I love getting -127 odds on Ducas to haul in 8+ rebounds in this one, especially with most books now offering this around -150.

Grand Canyon vs St. Mary’s Player Prop Picks:

  • Tyon Grant-Foster Over 17.5 Points (+100)
  • Alex Ducas Over 7.5 Rebounds (-127 at Caesars Sportsbook )

Grand Canyon vs Saint Mary’s Prediction

This 5-12 matchup has all the ingredients for a March Madness classic. Grand Canyon’s elite scorer, Tyon Grant-Foster, will be the best player on the floor.

The Lopes’ up-tempo style and ability to get out in transition could cause problems for the slow-paced Gaels, especially if GCU can get to the free-throw line. The Lopes rank 7th in the country in free-throw attempts per game (25.2), a massive advantage over Saint Mary’s, which is tied for 285th (16.9).

However, the Gaels are battle-tested, having navigated the WCC gauntlet. Furthermore, they have the requisite March experience, as this is their third straight trip to the Big Dance. Their pack-line defense is designed to limit dribble penetration and will aim to keep Grant-Foster out of the lane.

Ultimately, this feels like a toss-up game that will come down to the final few possessions. The Gaels’ poise and cohesion may be just enough to narrowly escape the upset bid. The pick is Saint Mary’s to win but Grand Canyon to cover the 5.5-point spread in a lower-scoring affair.

GSC vs SMU Picks:

  • Grand Canyon +5.5 (-115)
  • Under 131.5 (-110)


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