Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Odds & Prediction: Target This Late-Night Total

Gonzaga vs Saint Mary’s Odds & Prediction: Target This Late-Night Total article feature image

Pictured: St. Mary’s Gaels guard Aidan Mahaney. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Gonzaga vs Saint Mary's Odds

Saturday, Feb. 4
10:30 p.m. ET
Gonzaga Odds
-110o / -110u
Saint Mary's Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The storied West Coast Conference rivalry between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Saint Mary’s Gaels takes place Saturday, rounding off a loaded NCAA basketball slate.

Saint Mary’s leads the WCC at 9-0 after Gonzaga surprisingly dropped a home game to Loyola Marymount.

However, the Gaels need to win this game to at least split the season series with the Zags, especially with this game being at home.

These are two different programs. Gonzaga has struggled defensively this year and ranks 78th, according to KenPom, in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. However, the Zags rank third in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

Saint Mary’s is more efficient on the defensive end, ranking fourth in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, but ranks 45th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

Although, the Gaels should pull this game out, Gonzaga’s offense is a bit too potent to bet against right now. Saint Mary’s should control the pace of this game and put up a roadblock on Drew Timme and the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

The Zags love getting the ball inside to Timme. They rank 291st in 3-point attempt percentage and have scored 56.6% of their points from inside the arc. They are not shooting poorly from distance (38.2%), but are even more efficient inside at 57.5%.

The issue is they have a one-sided attack. Saint Mary’s is one of the best at defending inside and is holding opponents to a putrid 43.5% shooting on 2-pointers.

In addition, the Gaels are restricting chances around the perimeter. Opponents only hold a 31.9% 3-point attempt percentage against them, so even if the Zags try kicking the ball outside, Saint Mary’s will defend them.

Photo by CBB Analytics

That said, Saint Mary’s ranks 205th in open-3 rate, per Shot Quality, so this may be one area of concern if the Zags find an open man outside. Malachi Smith, Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther are Gonzaga's sharp-shooters. Each is over 41% from deep, so Saint Mary’s needs to lock those guys down.

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Saint Mary's Gaels

The Gaels are a little more well-rounded in their attack, but they are not as efficient inside the arc. They are shooting 37% from outside and 51.1% from inside the perimeter. Gonzaga yields more 3-pointers than the Gaels (38.3% 3-point attempt percentage), and opponents are shooting 35% on them.

Gonzaga ranks 170th in open-3 rate (Shot Quality), which is likely why this game could be close down the stretch.

On the other hand, even if these two teams give up 3-point attempts, both can rebound defensively.

Saint Mary’s owns the third-best rebounding clip on defense, holding opponents to 21.5% on the glass offensively, while the Zags are holding opponents to 25.4% on the offensive glass. This should mean each team should only be allotted about one attempt per trip down to the floor.

Saint Mary’s is also good at protecting the ball. They rank 54th in turnover percentage (16.7%), and Gonzaga is only turning over opponents at a 19.1% rate.

On the other side of the floor, Gonzaga is only turning the ball over 15.6% of the time against a defensive turnover rate of 20.1% for Saint Mary’s. Essentially, much of this game should be played in the half court — not in transition.

Gonzaga vs Saint Mary's Betting Pick

Finally, the Saint Mary’s Gaels rank 358th in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom. They also rank 359th in offensive average possession length (20.2 seconds).

Even though the Zags rank 42nd in Adjusted Tempo, Saint Mary’s has shown it can make other teams play its preferred style. They are 13-10 to the under this season, and Gonzaga is 11-11 to unders.

Take the under in this game at 141 (-110) and play it to 139.5 (-110).

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