College Basketball Odds & Picks for San Francisco vs. Santa Clara: How to Bet Possible Game of Day

College Basketball Odds & Picks for San Francisco vs. Santa Clara: How to Bet Possible Game of Day article feature image

Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Todd Golden (left) and Jamaree Bouyea.

  • San Francisco takes on Santa Clara in an underrated WCC duel.
  • The Dons and Broncos have NCAA Tournament hopes.
  • Anthony Dabbundo dives into this clash and offers up his top selection.

San Francisco vs. Santa Clara Odds

Saturday, Feb. 12
6 p.m. ET
San Francisco Odds
-110o / -110u
Santa Clara Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

One of the best years in the history of the West Coast Conference exists right now because of San Francisco and Santa Clara putting together excellent seasons simultaneously.

And the Dons and Broncos will meet for the second time this season in Santa Clara on Saturday with both teams jockeying for potential at-large NCAA Tournament bids.

Santa Clara has a lot of ground to make up and probably needs a WCC Tournament run, potentially along with an upset of Gonzaga, because of a weak nonconference performance that featured some injuries.

San Francisco was pretty safe from the bubble following a road win at BYU last week, but a Quadrant 4 home loss to Portland has it right back on the bubble and in danger of missing the tournament entirely.

A Dons win would leave them safe to lose at Saint Mary's in their next game and still be in the field, but two losses could see them on the wrong side of the bubble come Selection Sunday. San Fran won, 88-85, at home in the first meeting between these two teams as the Dons used a late 12-2 run to grab the lead at the War Memorial.

Now in Santa Clara, the Broncos are out for revenge, but really, this is an all-in spot for both programs and is one of the most underrated games on the entire Saturday card.

San Francisco Dons

There are two players opponents have to key in on immediately when facing the San Francisco offense: Jamaree Bouyea and Khalil Shabazz.

Big man Yauhen Massalski may have the highest usage on the team and is very active in the pick-and-roll, but the offense runs through the dribbling, penetration and shooting ability of Bouyea and Shabazz.

San Francisco ranks very highly in both off-the-dribble 3-point frequency and pick-and-roll frequency. But the Santa Clara defense is pretty good at defending screens and guarding the perimeter generally.

Most importantly, the offensive glass at this end of the court may decide the game. USF ranks first on the offensive glass in WCC play, while the Broncos are first in the conference at grabbing defensive rebounds.

The Dons managed to pull in nine offensive boards in the first meeting, and they generally controlled the glass to win the rebounding battle, 38-31.

It's been an up-and-down February for San Francisco, which began the month with its best win of the year against BYU, 73-59. The Dons followed that victory with two head-scratching games against Portland, winning one late and losing the second at home. Todd Golden's squad followed that loss with a 44-point crushing of Pepperdine at home.

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Santa Clara Broncos

Injuries derailed the nonconference portion of the Broncos schedule, who have now had their best month by far in February. According to Haslametrics, the three wins in February are the best efficiency margin they've posted all year followed by the early November games.

The dip and inconsistency in the middle of the season probably cost them a shot at an at-large bid, but the Broncos are a lot of fun to watch, especially on offense. They beat a ranked opponent for the first time in 43 tries with Tuesday's win against Saint Mary's at home.

Now that the Broncos are fully healthy, though, the offense runs straight downhill off-ball screens and is pretty effective at getting to the paint. The Dons defense allows most of its points from inside the 3-point line, and that's where the Santa Clara offense wants to be.

The offense ranks top-70 in three areas that are crucial here: ball screens, pick-and-roll and transition. If the Dons turn the ball over, which they're prone to do at times, they could get crushed in the open floor by the superior athleticism of the Broncos.

But when Santa Clara is forced to play in the half-court, the Dons take away the perimeter and guard ball screens well, so this game could get slowed down a bit if teams aren't both shooting 40% from 3 like last meeting.

San Francisco vs. Santa Clara Betting Pick

There were 173 points scored in the first meeting between these teams, but I'd guess that possessions and shooting efficiency will take a pretty big hit in the second meeting.

That game featured 76 possessions, but I also expect Golden to force the Broncos to execute more in the half-court on the road, and he's unlikely to let Santa Clara dictate pace once again.

Both teams are fine when it comes to long-range shooting, but they're unlikely to repeat the 40% clip from last time. Both defenses do a decent job of defending ball screens, and for that reason, I'm going to take the under in the rematch.

San Francisco, with its experience away from home, is not a team I expect to get overwhelmed or play into the hands of the up-tempo Broncos.

If we can any kind of big game nerves or this game is played just a bit more in the half-court, I'd look for this game to be lower-scoring than expected.

Pick: Under 149.5 or better

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