Colorado State vs Saint Mary’s Odds, Picks | NCAAB Betting Guide (Dec. 18)

Colorado State vs Saint Mary’s Odds, Picks | NCAAB Betting Guide (Dec. 18) article feature image

AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Stevens (4) of the Colorado State Rams.

  • Colorado State and Saint Mary's will go head-to-head Sunday night in a mid-major college basketball clash.
  • The Gaels are double-digit favorites (spread: -11.5), but Anthony Dabbundo sees value in the total (over/under: 131.5).
  • He breaks down the Colorado State vs. Saint Mary's odds and gives his pick below.

Colorado State vs. Saint Mary's Odds

Sunday, Dec. 18
8 p.m. ET
WCC Network
Colorado State Odds
-110o / -110u
Saint Mary's Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Saint Mary's Gaels will have revenge on their minds on Sunday night when Colorado State visits Moragas. The Rams steamrolled over the Gaels in their nonconference meeting last season after Colorado State made 9-of-16 from beyond the arc and scored 74 points to beat them by 16. At that point, the Rams were 9-0 and that win put them into the AP Top 25.

Both teams have changed quite a bit and lost key players since that game, but the Gaels have done a much better job in reloading their current squad. The Rams slipped up early in the 2022-23 season with losses to Charleston and Northern Colorado, as well as Penn State and Colorado.

Colorado State has maintained its elite offensive output this season, but the Rams have a difficult matchup against the Gaels defense on Sunday. Points should be hard to come by for them unless they continue to shoot at an elite rate from beyond the arc.

Colorado State Rams

Colorado State's offense doesn't crash the boards much at all and relies on being extremely efficient on the first shot to be effective as an offense. For Niko Medved's team, it absolutely works because the Rams are 24th in adjusted efficiency on offense and rank in the top 41 in both 3-point and 2-point offense.

Isaiah Stevens is the catalyst for this entire offense too as his ball movement and ability to beat defenders to get into the paint opens up the space for the shooters and the four or five out system that Medved likes to run. The Rams were at their best last season when David Roddy was the lone "big man" on the floor.

Without Roddy, though, they've lost any real chance at competing on the offensive glass. Given the matchup with Saint Mary's, one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the country, the Rams won't be getting any second chance opportunities in this game.

The Gaels are also well designed to slow down the ball motion and the 3-point happy Rams on offense, too. Saint Mary's doesn't apply much ball pressure, but Randy Bennett's defensive system forces you to take twos and forces you to play in isolation. That is not how the Rams want to run offense.

It's a major clash of styles for the Colorado State offense. The Rams won the battle last year, but still only managed 1.10 points per possession despite elite jump shooting.

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Saint Mary's offense ran through Tommy Kuhse last year, who predominantly ran pick-and-roll sets and was an elite creator and scorer off of those sets. Without Kuhse, the Gaels still run ball screens for their lead guards, but they are considerably less efficient at scoring off of them. The Gaels rank in the 30th percentile in points per possession on ball handler pick-and-rolls offensively.

You can also take advantage of the Rams soft low post defense, but the Gaels are a mediocre post up offense too. The one area where the Gaels have excelled is in spot up shooting, as they rank 71st in 3-point offense. Like Colorado State, the Gaels aren't going to commit to offensive rebounds. They prioritize getting back and preventing any transition opportunities for the opponents.

Saint Mary's offense is quite slow tempo and will run multiple ball screen looks until it gets the shot that it really wants. It forces the defense to be extremely disciplined, but also forces the defense to be switchable if they want to be successful.

Colorado State vs. Saint Mary's Betting Pick

It's hard to draw up a worse mid-major matchup for Colorado State than Saint Mary's. The Gaels want to run a ton of ball screens, and the Rams' pick and roll defense is among the worst in the entire country. Colorado State wants to move the ball, space the floor and shoot from distance.

Saint Mary's defense is elite at stopping fluid ball movement and forcing teams to take tough, contested 2s. I think it's telling that Colorado State shot an elite rate from beyond the arc last season in the matchup and still only had 1.10 points per possession.

There won't be any second chance looks at either end, neither offense is going to play fast and the Gaels defense is well designed to shut down Medved's motion. The Rams could get torched on ball screen defense, but the under is the play here regardless.

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