College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Saint Mary’s vs. Utah State: Why to Back the Gaels
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Saint Mary’s Gaels forward Dan Fotu (42).
- Saint Mary's travels to Logan to take on Utah State.
- The Gaels have played the tougher schedule to date and have just one loss -- to Wisconsin.
- Keg breaks down the game and offers up his pick.
Saint Mary’s vs. Utah State Odds
|Saint Mary’s Odds|
-110o / -110u
|Utah State Odds|
-110o / -110u
On Thursday, head coach Randy Bennett and the Saint Mary’s Gaels will venture to Logan, Utah to take on the Utah State Aggies. I
t will be their first meeting since 2019. The Gaels hold a 4-2 record all-time over the Aggies, and oddly enough, are undefeated when they travel to Logan, posting a 2-0 record.
The Gaels have had an impressive start to their season, most recently posting a 67-50 win over UC Riverside at home.
However, against UC Riverside, the Gaels once again had a slow start, an issue that has come up in multiple games so far this year. They were able to enter halftime with a two-point lead, thanks to a 14-0 run due mainly to Matthias Tass having a career-high four 3-pointers in the first half.
But while they consistently struggled in the first half, the Gaels continued another trend against the Highlanders, dominating the second half.
Saint Mary’s limited the Highlanders to just 32% shooting from the floor in the second half while posting another impressive stretch consisting of a 14-2 run over the last 6:42. Through their first eight games, the Gaels have posted a +45 point differential in the second half.
Meanwhile, the Aggies have out-performed what most expected from them in their own right. They are currently 6-1 on the season and rank third in the Mountain West Conference.
Senior forward Brandon Horvath scored a game-high 20 points in their most recent win, leading the Aggies to a dominant 93-63 win over Carroll College.
Five other Aggies posted double figures while 14 different players had at least two minutes. 11 of those players scored at least two points, including senior forward Justin Bean, who recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He also had three assists and one steal.
Bean’s points pushed him over the 1,000-point plateau in his USU career as he became the 40th player in school history to accomplish the feat.
While both teams have been great so far this season, I think one holds a clear advantage in Logan this week.
The Gaels had their undefeated season come to a screeching halt and dropped to 6-1 on the season after being defeated by the Wisconsin Badgers, 61-55 in the championship game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
But the Gaels have a long season ahead of them, and seemed unfazed by the loss as they returned home to pounce on UC Riverside. They are 7-1 on the season and 5-3 ATS.
On the season, Saint Mary’s is averaging 68.0 points per game on 45.7% shooting from the field. The Gaels are averaging 7.7 3-pointers per game on 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc.
They have been able to slow games down to their own pace as well, currently ranking 337th, per KenPom in adjusted tempo. And when the Gaels take their time, they have been able to make it count, ranking 72nd in effective field goal percentage at 53.4%.
Offensively, Saint Mary’s has been led by Dan Fotu (14.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG), Tommy Kuhse (10.9 PPG, 3.9 APG), Logan Johnson (10.7 PPG) and Alex Ducas (10.6 PPG).
Defensively, Saint Mary’s is holding its opponents to an average of 58.7 points per game on 41.2% shooting from the field. The Gaels have a rebound margin of 4.0 and a turnover margin of 0.4.
Utah State looks for its seventh straight victory of the season as it faces Saint Mary’s. The Aggies are coming off a 93-63 win over Carroll (MT).
Recently, the Aggies have moved the ball well with 68 assists on 89 field goals (76.4%) across their previous three outings. Saint Mary’s has assists on 40 of 74 field goals (54.1%) during its past three games.
The Aggies had an impressive performance against Oklahoma as well. Utah State shot 41.8% from the field in that one, collecting 39 rebounds and 16 assists. The Aggies also put up a key 20-of-21 (95.2%) from the line in the win.
Over on the Utah State side, its year started off on the wrong foot against UC Davis with a 72-69 defeat. The Aggies bounced back well in their next three, taking out Richmond, Penn and New Mexico State in succession.
The Aggies have also found success outside the arc this year, making 9.6 3-pointers per game this season, ranking second-best among MWC teams.
Saint Mary’s vs. Utah State Betting Pick
Saint Mary’s has played the tougher competition so far this season and while it is on the road, it has proven in the past it has no trouble winning in Logan.
I’m grabbed the Gaels at +2.5 and would bet it up to a pick’em.