San Diego State vs. Saint Mary’s Odds & Picks: Why to Bet the Under
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Darrion Trammell (San Diego State)
San Diego State vs. Saint Mary’s Odds
The San Diego State Aztecs and Saint Mary’s Gaels, two of the top-25 defenses in the nation, square off Saturday in the Jerry Colangelo Classic.
The Aztecs hold a slight edge over the Gaels (7-6) in the all-time series and have won each of the past three meetings. But, Saint Mary’s could catch the Aztecs in a bad spot as this will be their fourth of five games over a 14-day stretch.
San Diego State will be in their Nike N7 turquoise uniforms again on Saturday, which is worth noting for a few reasons. The Aztecs have worn their turquoise uniforms once a year since debuting the threads in 2014 and have yet to lose while wearing them.
It will also be the Aztecs first time wearing the N7 uniforms away from Viejas Arena. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks for this game.
The Aztecs defense is 19th when it comes to adjusted efficiency per Kenpom, holding teams to an average of 70 points per game this season. And while they’ve consistently been among the top defenses year in and year out, what’s most impressive about this year’s squad is the offense and depth.
The Aztecs haven’t been much of a threat from beyond the arc, but have been dangerous from everywhere else on the floor. San Diego State ranks in the 98th percentile when it comes to shots at the rim, hitting 74.2%, but a majority of the Aztecs shots come from midrange, where they are hitting 38.9%, decently above the D1 average of 34.8%.
Both Darrion Trammell and Matt Bradley have been elite scorers for the Aztecs all season, but this is far from a two-man show. San Diego State ranks in the 88th percentile with their bench, which scores 29.3 points per game.
Saint Mary’s defense will be the Aztecs toughest challenge yet and I don’t see them continuing the success they’ve had at the rim against a Gaels team that towers over them and has dominated the glass.
But when it comes to the midrange, where the Aztecs have been their best, they can take advantage of one of Saint Mary’s few weaknesses on defense.
Photo By: CBB Analytics
Opponents have shot 33.8% in the midrange against the Gaels. If the Aztecs can continue the success they’ve had there, it could be the difference in this defensive rock fight.
The Gaels finally brought their three-game losing streak to an end, beating Missouri State 66-46 in their most recent contest. The Gaels also put on a defensive masterclass against Houston and held the number one team in the nation to just 53 points, albeit in a loss.
Saint Marys has been the sixth-best team in all of college basketball in defensive scoring, limiting opponents to just 55.9 points per game. At the offensive end, things haven’t been as stellar. In fact, the Gaels rank outside the top 100 in shooting percentage.
Saint Mary’s does rank in the top 50 when it comes to three-point percentage, but rarely pulls up from deep and averages just 19.7 three-point attempts per contest. The Gaels also rank 45th in average height and should be dominant against a SDSU team that averages just 33.5 rebounds per game.
San Diego State vs. Saint Mary’s Betting Pick
While Saint Mary’s does have one of the top-10 defenses in the country, the same issue have cause them to lose games over and over again. If anyone else in college basketball held the number one team in the nation to 53 points, they’d likely come away with a win.
In each of the Gaels losses, they held teams to less than 70 points, but they simply can’t score enough to win.
San Diego State’s advantage advantage in the midrange is the one small area where it could potentially have success against the Gaels defense. Other than that, I struggle to see anyway the Aztecs break 60 in this game.
Saint Mary’s past three games have all gone under the total and their most game, against Missouri State, finished with just 112 points. I think we’ll see a similar score in Arizona on Saturday.
I was able to grab the under early on Friday at 126 and would be confident in this game staying below the total at 124.5 or better.
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