College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for San Francisco vs. Saint Mary’s (Thursday, February 17)

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for San Francisco vs. Saint Mary’s (Thursday, February 17) article feature image

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

  • The Gaels host the Dons in Thursday's marquee matchup in the WCC.
  • The Dons are looking for revenge after dropping the first game between these teams in San Francisco.
  • Our analyst breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

San Francisco vs. Saint Mary's Odds

Thursday, Feb. 17
10 p.m. ET
NBC Sports Bay Area
San Francisco Odds
-110o / -110u
Saint Mary's Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Two teams that we very well could see in March will square off when the San Francisco Dons travel to Moraga to take on the St. Mary's Gaels Thursday.

The first meeting between these two programs was a nail-biter as the Gaels squeaked out a two-point victory on the road after an epic San Francisco collapse. Now they're getting a much-needed home game as they have dropped their last two road games, with the most recent coming at the hands of Gonzaga.

San Francisco comes into this matchup on its best run since earlier in the season as they have won five of their last six games. The Dons should be determined to finish the job this time around as they proved to be the better team on both ends of the floor in the first matchup.

Now the Gaels will be hosting, and while that may factor into the handicap, it may only give more value to the superior team.

San Francisco Dons

Dons' Outside Shooting Will Factor In

This Saint Mary's defense is impressive from a statistical standpoint. The Gaels are 17th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and have held their opponents to an average of just 59.7 points per game this season. Though in the first meeting, San Francisco showed that it has the talent to exploit the Gaels' defensive weaknesses.

The Dons shot 50 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from behind the arc against the Gaels, and they will be looking to repeat that same effort. Defending the three has been the one area where Saint Mary's is substantially weaker as they have allowed opponents to make 34.7 percent of their attempts, ranking 229th in the country.

San Francisco's leading scorer and best 3-point shooter, Jamaree Bouyea, will once again thrive with his excellent outside shooting in this matchup. Bouyea dropped 19 points while going three for five from deep in the first matchup.

However, Bouyea certainly won't be alone in this outside shooting effort as Gabe Seffanini has found his touch lately. Seffanini recently put on a shooting display against Pepperdine as he went six of thirteen from deep.

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Saint Mary's Gaels

Gaels Will Need to Feed Tass

Matthias Tass, the six-foot-10 senior from Estonia, has been the force that propels the Gaels on both ends of the floor, and this was apparent in the first matchup. Tass had his best performance of the year against San Francisco as he racked up 27 points and grabbed 12 boards while leading his team all the way back from a 23-point deficit.

He was their only consistent source of offense against the Dons and will likely need to be again as the primary reason for San Francisco's success this season has been their play on the defensive end. The Dons have been fantastic at contesting shots as they rank 25th in Effective Field Goal percentage allowed and are even better at disrupting long-range shots, allowing the 11th lowest 3-point percentage.

Though the other advantage of having a player with the skill set of Tass is that San Francisco does not have a defender that can match up with him. Tass forced the Dons to do something that they rarely do, which is foul. It was quite an oddity for both teams as we saw Tass get to the line and covert nine of 10 free throw attempts.

Saint Mary's rarely gets to the line, and San Francisco is usually much better at defending without fouling. Nonetheless, Tass' involvement is critical for the Gaels on the offensive floor.

San Francisco vs. Saint Mary's Betting Pick

As aforementioned, San Francisco proved it was the better team in the first meeting. The Dons were better in nearly every facet; they just went through an anomaly of a meltdown.

That will not happen this time, so take the superior team here as they are getting too many points on the road.

Pick: San Francisco +3 (Play to +1.5)

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