College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Saint Mary’s vs. Colorado State: Who Will Dictate Tempo?
Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Stevens
- Colorado State looks to remain unbeaten against Randy Bennett and Saint Mary's.
- The Gaels are coming off a tough road win over Utah State.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down this clash and offers up his top selection.
Saint Mary’s vs. Colorado State Odds
|Saint Mary’s Odds|
-105o / -115u
|Colorado State Odds|
-105o / -115u
Two of the top mid-major programs with contradicting playing styles meet on Saturday when Saint Mary’s travels to face Colorado State.
Colorado State is highly touted as a potential favorite to win the Mountain West Conference. The Rams have remained perfect through their first eight games, winning by an average margin of 18 points.
Their offense has led the way, as they rank 16th in offensive efficiency, while averaging 87 points per game. They’ve matched up with only one opponent inside the top 100 in Creighton, whom they defeated 95-81.
Now, they duel a Saint Mary’s team that is 8-1 and has found success through its fifth-ranked defensive efficiency mark. The Gaels defeated Notre Dame and Oregon in the Maui invitational before being handed their sole loss in the championship to Wisconsin.
Saint Mary’s relies on its defense and slow pace of play to grind out possessions. Colorado State thrives on its fast-paced offense that wants to get out and run at every opportunity.
In a clash of two opposite playing styles, whoever dictates the tempo will likely come out on top.
Saint Mary’s survived on the road against Utah State, 60-58, thanks to game-winning free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining. The Gaels forced the game to be played at their pace by grinding out possession by possession.
Through nine games, Saint Mary’s has dominated defensively, as Randy Bennett’s squad has held its opposition to 57 points per game, which ranks 14th best in the country. The Gaels have limited opponents to make only 45% of their field goal attempts while dominating the defensive glass.
The Gaels have five players who average double digits and are led in scoring by Dan Fotu, who comes off the bench. Fotu is averaging 13.8 points on 62% shooting despite playing just 22 minutes per game.
Tommy Kuhse and Alex Ducas are the outside shooting threats and have made a combined 23-of-53 attempts, good for 43%.
Saint Mary’s has averaged just 61 points per game over its last five contests. That could spell trouble for the Gaels if Colorado State is able to speed up the tempo on Saturday afternoon.
Colorado State returns everyone from last year’s roster that finished 20-8 and 14-4 in Mountain West play. Much of the success has come from the dynamic duo of David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens.
Roddy is a 6-foot-6 forward who plays much bigger than his size. He’s averaged 21 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season. Roddy has been hyper-efficient offensively, hitting 44% of his 27 3-point attempts and 62% on his 2-point field goals.
Stevens is the junior point guard who has complemented Roddy with 14.9 points, 7.4 assists and a measly 1.2 turnovers per game this season.
The Rams have been dominating offensively behind their 16th-ranked offensive efficiency mark. They’ve made 61.3% of their field goal attempts, which ranks third in the nation.
The group has been shooting lights out from behind the arc, hitting 73-of-173 (42.8%) attempts, which ranks fifth in the country.
These two teams met in December of last year and the game was played at the Gaels’ tempo. Colorado State converted on 25% of its field goal attempts and mustered up 33 points in the entire game.
But rest assured, the Rams’ roster has evolved from that matchup and should impose their playing style this time around.
Saint Mary’s vs. Colorado State Betting Pick
This is a matchup between two of the top mid-major programs who are likely to win a bid to the NCAA Tournament come March. Bennett and Niko Medved are two of the top coaches in the country and will have their respected programs ready for this matchup.
But Saint Mary’s is coming off of a grueling victory over Utah State on Thursday, which could have some lingering effects for this game.
Colorado State dropped last year’s matchup 53-33 and completely laid an egg offensively. The Rams return the entire roster from last season, so they will surely have revenge on their minds. Since that matchup, Colorado State has won 23 of its 27 regular season games.
Colorado State’s offense has been firing on all cylinders this season, averaging 87 points per game behind Roddy and Stevens. The Rams will push the pace of this game against the tired legs of Saint Mary’s and get out and run at every opportunity they get.