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Gonzaga Saint Marys Betting Predictions – Gonzaga Tries To Lock Down West Coast Conference

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/12/2013 6:01:21 PM

The Gonzaga Bulldogs know that if they can beat the Saint Mary's Gaels this Thursday, they will win the 2013 regular season championship of the West Coast Conference.

Gonzaga Bulldogs @ Saint Mary's Gaels – Thursday, February 14   
Betting line: No line

Why Gonzaga Will Win

Football betting experts who now have some time to study up on college basketball will be rewarded if they watch this game, which should be sensational. Gonzaga is 23-2 and is the best it has been since 2009, when the Bulldogs gained a No. 4 seed and reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament. The Zags are improved because of the emergence of a high-quality big man, Kelly Olynyk, who averages 17.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Olynyk is joined on the interior by Elias Harris, who averages 14.8 points and 7.2 boards per contest. Gonzaga always has good guards, and this team is no exception, with Kevin Pangos and David Stockton in the backcourt, but the Zags are at their best when they are rugged, powerful and resilient in the frontcourt. Being able to lock down on defense and deny second-chance points to opponents is what gives Gonzaga a real edge. If Olynyk and Harris own the boards, Saint Mary's will have to shoot at a very high percentage in order to win.

No bet on sports is ever completely guaranteed, and moreover, Saint Mary's – a team that is 21-4 – will provide robust opposition. However, Gonzaga has played poorly only once this season, against Illinois. The Zags outplayed Butler on the road but lost by a point after committing a turnover and allowing a basket in the final four seconds of regulation time. If Gonzaga plays well, Saint Mary's will be hard pressed to keep pace with the Bulldogs on Thursday.

Why Saint Mary's Will Win

Even mma betting experts with a surface knowledge of college basketball are aware that while Gonzaga is really good this season, the Zags do not own a high-quality road win. Gonzaga beat Kansas State in Seattle earlier in the season, but the Bulldogs could not finish off Butler in Indianapolis. Its best win away from home was a neutral-court game against Oklahoma State; that contest was not played in Oklahoma State's own gymnasium.

The other thing that has to be mentioned in relationship to this game is that Saint Mary's will have to shoot well. That's not exactly a problem for the Gaels. They are ninth in the United States in field goal percentage (49.3), and their best player, sharpshooting guard Matthew Dellavedova, hits 39 percent of his three-point shots. He's a lethal force who can be counted on to hit big shots for Saint Mary's in this game. The Gaels should play with great energy; knowing that they lost by only five at Gonzaga in the first meeting of the season between these teams, they should be motivated yet focused. Saint Mary's will be intent on making the extra-effort plays that will enable the Gaels to break through against Gonzaga and firmly secure a place in the NCAA tournament.

Who Will Win

Don't assume that Gonzaga is going to continue to roll. The Zags won't be tested in the West Coast Conference the way Saint Mary's will test them on Thursday. This game should be close throughout, but Saint Mary's is good enough to wrest this game away from Gonzaga and will do just that.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Saint Mary's

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