March 7, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take St. Mary's +5 spread against Gonzaga for 3% of the bankroll.
It's the WCC Finals matchup that everyone expected as the St Mary's Gaels and Gonzaga Bulldogs finalize their trilogy this season. Gonzaga has managed to take the first two games these teams played this season and will be looking to complete the trifecta tonight. While Gonzaga has proven to be the better team in the first two meeting this season, the Gaels are playing arguably their best basketball of the season heading into this contest and it is extremely difficult to defeat the same team three straight times. This is an extremely important matchup for the Gaels as a victory over the Zags will likely cement their place in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, a loss however will likely once again leave them on the outside looking in.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have been one of the more dominant teams in the country this season. At 31-1 they have run through their conference with reckless abandon, winning every matchup on their conference slate by double-digits, that is until their final game of the regular season. The BYU Cougars marched into Spokane and handed the Zags their first loss of the season and did so for the third straight time on the Zags' home floor. Since that loss, the Zags have seemingly lost a bit of their mystic and have even seemed vulnerable at times. Perhaps it's the length of the season that has finally taken a toll on this team, or it could be the fact that they were unable to complete the perfect regular season that took a bit of wind out of their sails, whatever the case, we believe the Zags could struggle in this contest against the best defensive team they have played all season and one that knows their style of play extremely well.
St Mary's find themselves in an interesting position having already seen the Zags twice this season. They know what style of basketball they play and likely what their game plan will be ahead of this contest. Randy Bennett will also likely have the advantage over his counterpart, Mark Few, in this contest as having tasted defeat in the first two meetings, now knows what adjustments need to be made in order to slow down the Zags' offensive attack. Mark Few's team 'easily' won the first two meetings and now will likely believe they can simply stay with the same game plans that worked in earlier meetings and still be able to walk away with a victory. Whatever coach makes the better adjustments is likely in a prime position to grab the victory and we believe the deck is stacked in Bennett's favor in this one.
While we believe the Zags' are the deeper and better all-around team, we don't believe the Gaels will go down without a fight. This game will be much closer than the first two meetings and we wouldn't be surprised if St. Mary's had a chance to win it at the end. In a game that could be decided in the final minutes, we believe the points have value and should come into play at the end.
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