St. Mary’s and Gonzaga meet once again in the West Coast Conference Semifinals in Las Vegas, Nevada. The experts at Pro Edge Sports have you covered with detailed analysis on the game, who has the edge on both ends of the court and a projected winner against the point spread.
St. Mary’s Offense vs. Gonzaga Defense:
St. Mary’s is averaging 72.6 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 71.0 points per game, thereby making the Gaels 1.6 points per game better than average offensively. The larger problem for St. Mary’s has been its anemic offense on the road where the Gaels are averaging just 69.9 points per game on 44.1% shooting from the field. Let’s also note that St. Mary’s is averaging just 67.0 points over its last five games so it’s hard to imagine the Gaels matching (or exceeding) their season average against a very good Gonzaga defense that is 8.1 points per game better than average (65.4 points per game to teams that would combine to average 73.5 points per game).
Even more concerning for St. Mary’s fans is the fact that the Bulldogs are allowing just 62.3 points per game on 39.1% shooting in conference play and 63.4 points over their last five games (37.8% FG). Overall, Gonzaga possesses a significant 6.5 points per game advantage defensively over the Gaels’ pedestrian offense.
Gonzaga Offense vs. St. Mary’s Defense:
Gonzaga is averaging 77.2 points per game on 49.8% shooting from the field and 39.3% from beyond the arc against teams that would combine to allow 72.0 points per game. However, Gonzaga’s offensive production has declined recently as evidenced by the fact that the Bulldogs are averaging just 70.6 points over its last five games. Overall, Gonzaga is 5.2 points per game better than average offensively, which is not good enough to penetrate a very good St. Mary’s defense.
Specifically, St. Mary’s is allowing 65.7 points per game to teams that would combine to average 72.7 points per game, thereby making the Gaels 7.0 points per game better than average defensively. The Gaels’ defense has also been good throughout conference play where they have limited West Coast teams to a mere 67.0 points per game. Overall, St. Mary’s possesses a 1.8 points per game advantage defensively over the Bulldogs’ attack.
St. Mary’s has revenge on its mind after suffering two humiliating losses to the Bulldogs during the regular season. Indeed, Gonzaga defeated the Gaels by a combined 50 points in two games this season (73-51; 75-47), and the Bulldogs are 37-8 SU and 27-18 ATS overall in this series. St. Mary’s is 2-10 ATS versus teams with winning records and 2-9 ATS on the road with limited rest (i.e 1 or less days), whereas the Bulldogs are 9-1 ATS when playing with one or less days of rest.
With the point spread moving from the opening number of 6 to the current number of 7, Pro Edge Sports feels most comfortable remaining on the sidelines for this game. Contrarian bettors will certainly be looking to take St. Mary’s, and the point spread inflation may ultimately justify that position.