College Basketball Odds & Picks for New Mexico State vs. Saint Mary’s

College Basketball Odds & Picks for New Mexico State vs. Saint Mary’s article feature image

Photo by Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Logan Johnson (Saint Mary’s)

  • Saint Mary's takes on New Mexico State on Wednesday evening in a West Coast battle.
  • The Gaels control the tempo of almost every game they play, and that could be a case again vs. the Aggies.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.

New Mexico State vs. Saint Mary's Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 14
10 p.m. ET
WCC Network
New Mexico State Odds
-110o / -110u
Saint Mary's Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

New Mexico State has had an interesting season, to say the least. One of its key players — Mike Peake — is indefinitely suspended for being involved in a shooting on campus.

To frame this in the context of basketball, this greatly hinders their frontcourt’s success.

On Tuesday, the Aggies will face off with the Saint Mary’s Gaels, a consistent, tough program to play when short-handed.

The Gaels thrive on the defensive end, ranking seventh in KenPom’s Adjusted Defensive Efficiency metric. They also rank 67th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

The Gaels crash the glass with the best of them on defense, ranking seventh in the NCAA. This should cut into any second chances for the Aggies, especially with their limited post options.

Meanwhile, New Mexico State is holding opponents to a 27.2% offensive rebounding clip, and shockingly, for being so good at defensive rebounding, the Gaels struggle on put-backs.

Expect second chances to be limited for both squads.

With this being the case, this game should go under the total. Saint Mary’s should control the pace and force a defensive-oriented matchup, even if the Aggies are used to running as quickly as possible.

New Mexico State Aggies

New Mexico State mainly produces points from beyond the arc. On the season, the Aggies are shooting 41% from deep, which ranks fifth nationally.

Xavier Pinson has launched the most and is still hitting 38.5%. Deshawndre Washington, DaJuan Gordon and Kyle Feit all are shooting at least 33%, too. Since the Aggies get 37.6% of their points from 3, they will not suddenly alter their game plan.

Now, Saint Mary’s does struggle to defend the arc — allowing opponents to hit 33% from 3 — so the Aggies will produce when given the opportunity. That said, the Gaels are so strong in every other defensive category that the Aggies will be greatly restricted in other areas.

For example, the Gaels held North Texas — a team that essentially only scores from the perimeter — to only 33 points. New Mexico State runs at a far quicker tempo than North Texas, but the point stands that Saint Mary’s can zero in on shooters when a team has such a one-sided offensive attack.

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Saint Mary's Gaels

The Gaels control the tempo in every game they play. They are 6-5 on unders this season, but they rank 323rd in KenPom’s Adjusted Tempo metric.

They do so by occupying 19.6 seconds per possession on offense and 17.5 seconds per possession on defense. This will allow a little wiggle room for the Aggies to get out in transition, but they will not be used to this type of grind-it-out style on every possession.

Saint Mary’s does have the opportunity to get to the line often in this game. New Mexico State ranks 319th in fouls in the NCAA.

Unfortunately for the Gaels, they have trouble taking advantage of this in most cases. They rank 193rd on offense in free-throw attempt percentage.

Even if the Gaels find their way to the strike, they are only shooting 64.1% from there. This is abysmal, so even if provided the opportunity to knock down foul shots, they will not hit many of them.

New Mexico State vs. Saint Mary's Betting Pick

All of these signs point to an under in this ball game. New Mexico State is pretty hard to predict at the moment, but because the Aggies have such a one-dimensional game, Saint Mary’s will match up well.

The Gaels have stopped teams like this before.

Neither team excels on the offensive glass, and since Saint Mary’s controls the tempo in most games, they will — at least — stave off the push down the floor from the Aggies.

Take the under at 131 (-110), and play it to 129 (-110).

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