The St. Mary’s Gaels collide with the Santa Clara Broncos in the semifinal of the West Coast Conference tournament Monday night, which sees the Gaels as college betting favorites.
The Gaels have been off for eight days since stunning No. 1 Gonzaga at home on February 26 and now must focus on a Broncos program that split their head-to-head meetings with SMC during the regular season.
Santa Clara blasted Portland in the tournament quarterfinals Sunday winning in convincing fashion, 91-67.
Here are our free college basketball picks and predictions for Santa Clara vs. St. Mary’s on March 7.
Santa Clara vs Saint Mary's odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
St. Mary’s opened as a 4-point neutral-site favorite and that spread climbed as high as -5.5 before buyback on the Broncos trimmed it to -5. The total opened at 141 and took one-sided play on the Under early on, trimming this number to as low as 138 points.
Santa Clara vs Saint Mary's predictions
Predictions made on 3/07/2022 at 1:23 p.m. ET
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Santa Clara vs Saint Mary's game info
• Location: Orleans Arena, Paradise, NV
• Date: Monday, March 7, 2022
• Tip-off: 11:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN2
Santa Clara at Saint Mary's betting preview
Santa Clara: No injuries to report.
Saint Mary's: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. Find more NCAA betting trends for Santa Clara vs. Saint Mary's.
Santa Clara vs Saint Mary's picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Gaels have had an extended break since upsetting rival Gonzaga on February 26, but the threat of a letdown spot still looms – especially with an eight-day hiatus pausing St. Mary’s current four-game winning streak.
In fact, the Gaels have suffered only two losses in their past 14 games going back to January 13. One was a road loss to the Bulldogs in Spokane and the other came inside the Leavey Center, falling to Santa Clara 77-72 on February 8.
The Broncos' offense was humming in that matchup, shooting 55% from the floor and generating 18 assists on 31 made field goals. Santa Clara, which ranks 26th in offensive efficiency at KenPom.com, looked similar in its tournament opener versus Portland, scoring 91 points on 53% shooting Sunday.
The Broncos also bring their share of momentum into this contest, having won three straight and four of their last five with one loss coming at the hands of Gonzaga — an 81-69 effort in which SCU covered as a 22.5-point road underdog.
Even though Santa Clara played last night, this is one of those games in which the nod goes to the team already in postseason mode – rather than the program that’s been out of action for more than a week. The pesky Broncos may not win this one, but they’ll make the Gaels sweat by keeping it closer than oddsmakers expect.
Prediction: Santa Clara +5 (-110)
This 138-point total is the lowest Over/Under Santa Clara has faced since beating St. Mary’s on February 8, with that 77-72 finish going Over the number. That is one of six Overs in the Broncos’ last eight games.
Santa Clara has plenty of offensive options, with four players averaging over 12 points per game, led by 6-foot-6 first-team WCC guard Jalen Williams (17.9 ppg). The Broncos push the pace with the 24th fastest tempo in the country and could overwhelm the Gaels early on if St. Mary’s shows any rust after the long layoff.
The Gaels posted scores of 72 and 73 versus the Broncos in the regular season and this game could see a quicker tempo early on before St. Mary’s locks down on defense in the final 20 minutes.
Prediction: Over 137.5 (-110)
With a potential letdown spot and a lull in schedule making us think long and hard about backing the Gaels against the spread, perhaps the best way to wager on this semifinal is to put the points away and just look at the outright odds.
Sportsbooks have St. Mary’s as low as -200 on the moneyline, which isn’t bad considering that defense tends to travel well, and the Gaels don’t see much of a downtick in that stinginess when they hit the highway.
They could be caught flat-footed in the opening 20 minutes and even find themselves playing from behind after the halftime break. That’s why we’ll slim that price tag a bit and take SMC to win the second half at -168 odds on the 2H moneyline.
It may seem like we're almost middling this game with a play on Santa Clara +5 but this very much feels like a game that will go down to the final possessions.
Pick: St. Mary’s second-half moneyline -168
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