BYU vs Saint Mary’s Odds, Picks: How to Bet This WCC Matchup

BYU vs Saint Mary’s Odds, Picks: How to Bet This WCC Matchup article feature image
Credit:

Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: BYU’s Rudi Williams (3).

BYU vs Saint Mary's Odds

Saturday, Feb. 18
10 p.m. ET
ESPNU
BYU Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+9.5
-102
129.5
-115o / -105u
+420
Saint Mary's Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-9.5
-120
129.5
-115o / -105u
-580
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Saint Mary’s has had a couple of tight games in the WCC of late. On Thursday, it squeaked out a single-digit victory over San Diego and will now host the BYU Cougars on Saturday.

The Gaels barely downed the Cougars the last time these two played, winning by one point.

This one should be tight as well. BYU can match SMC on the glass, and its Adjusted Defensive Efficiency rank of 38th should hold the Gaels in check.

Look for the Cougars to cover the number on the road.


BYU Cougars

BYU has not had the best showing in West Coast Conference play. It sits in the middle of the pack at 6-8, and much of that damage has come recently. The Cougars have dropped six of their last eight games, but the only double-digit loss was to Pepperdine of all teams.

Since Saint Mary’s usually holds teams to its preferred pace, BYU can remain within striking distance.

For one, BYU can rebound. The Cougars rank 107th in offensive rebounding but hold opponents to 23.4% on the glass, ranking 16th. Saint Mary’s ranks 25th in offensive rebounding and second on the defensive glass.

The Cougars can eat into this expected edge for the Gaels. They actually won the rebounding battle with the Gaels last time out, 33-25. Look for this to be relatively even.

One area of concern may be BYU’s 3-point defense. The Cougars permit teams to shoot around 35% from 3-point land, and Saint Mary’s is shooting nearly 37.2% from deep. That said, the Gaels rank 170th in 3-point attempt percentage and manufacture over 50% of their points from inside the arc, so they won't be concentrating on hitting 3s the entire time.

BYU is solid in Rim-and-3 Rate. It ranks 52nd, per ShotQuality, so it won't be giving the Gaels the most reasonable shots on the floor. There's a reason Saint Mary’s only shot 43% from 2-point range the last time these two met.

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Saint Mary's Gaels

Saint Mary’s seems like it can stop BYU's attack. It's holding opponents to 44.5% on 2s and 31.8% on 3s with a 32.1% 3-point attempt rate.

BYU is better at getting to the line, though. Yes, this game will be hosted by Saint Mary's, but the Cougars rank 170th in free-throw attempt rate versus 267th for the Gaels. SMC is better at withholding fouls defensively, but BYU should have the edge here, as it shoots better from the line (71.8% vs. 69.5%).

BYU’s shot selection is questionable, but it's one of the best teams in the country in isolation. It ranks 21st at one point per possession, Saint Mary’s ranks 299th on defense, per ShotQuality.

This is a clear advantage, so expect the Cougars to utilize these isolations for Rudi Williams, especially.

This BYU team shoots too many 3s with a 39.7% attempt rate compared to a 31.6% conversion rate. Still, Spencer Johnson is hitting over 40% from deep, and Saint Mary’s struggles mightily to defend off-the-dribble and catch-and-shoot 3s (266th, 251st).

Since this is a standard piece of BYU’s offense, it should have some open looks from downtown.

SPENCER JOHNSON FOR THREE

BYU TAKES THE LEAD

58-56 WITH 11 SECONDS LEFT pic.twitter.com/1Q042iOyfK

— Daily Universe Sports (@DailyUnivSports) November 8, 2022


BYU vs Saint Mary's Betting Pick

Eleven points is far too many for the Cougars, who have not necessarily played well but have lost close games to Saint Mary’s and other solid WCC teams.

They also have the rebounding numbers to match Saint Mary’s. The Cougars will also find open looks from 3-point range and get to the free-throw line to keep it close.

Bet BYU at +11 and play it to +9.

Pick: BYU +11 (Play to +9)

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