The marquee rivalry of the West Coast Conference will be renewed on Saturday as the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs will travel down to the Bay Area to go head-to-head with the Saint Mary’s Gaels.
The top-ranked Bulldogs (13-0, 4-0 WCC) kept their undefeated run going on Thursday with a 95-70 whipping of Pepperdine. The Zags only led by four at the half before exploding for 52 points in the second to dispatch of the Waves. Leading scorer Corey Kispert buried six threes to finish the game with 23 points while fellow starters Drew Timme, Jaleh Suggs and Jel Ayayi all combined for 57.
Riding a 17-game winning streak dating back to last season, Mark Few’s Gonzaga bunch are scorching hot from the offensive end, leading the nation in points per game (96) and field goal percentage (55%) while also averaging the second-most assists per game (21).
After an 8-1 start, Saint Mary’s (9-4, 0-2) has struggled as of late with three losses in their last four outings. The latest came in the form of a 62-52 loss to BYU on Thursday, a game where they led by four at halftime before going cold from the field down the stretch to allow the Cougars to cruise by for the win.
Even with their struggles of late, the Gaels still boasts one of the top defenses in the league, limiting opponents to just 61 points per game on 41 percent shooting. They are also outrebounding opponents by 7.6 boards a game, trailing only Gonzaga in that category.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s on Saturday, January 16th at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN3, a streaming only service via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.
If you don’t have a cable login to access ESPN, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: Gonzaga -15.5
Point Total: 147.5
Money line: Gonzaga -2000, Saint Mary’s +950
The Best Bet
This West Coast Conference matchup will boil down to whether or not Saint Mary’s can keep pace with the top scoring attack in the land.
Gonzaga is beating opponents down by an average of 22.8 points per game and three of Gaels’ four losses this season have come by double-digits. Unless the Saint Mary’s can really come through on the defensive end by limiting scoring opportunities, the play here is to take the Zags.
Pick: Gonzaga -15.5
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