The Saint Mary’s Gaels take on the BYU Cougars. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Saint Mary’s BYU prediction and pick. Find out how to watch Saint Mary’s BYU.
The BYU Cougars, at 14-9 overall, have run out of any margin for error on their West Coast Conference schedule this season. They lost at San Francisco. They lost at Santa Clara. They lost at Loyola Marymount. They lost a five-point lead in the final two minutes at home to Gonzaga. This game against Saint Mary’s is one of BYU’s last chances to get a high-value win in the WCC. The Cougars will need to win this game and then grab a win at Gonzaga, and probably a win at Saint Mary’s later in the season, to have any real hope of an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. BYU is almost certainly an NIT team at this point. The Cougars have to surprise some people if they want to get back in the at-large conversation. Right now, they’re out of it, in spite of wins over Creighton and Utah. BYU has simply picked up way too many losses, especially those losses to the other teams below Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga in the WCC standings. This is a point of no return for the Cougars, as Saint Mary’s tries to go into the Marriott Center in Provo and remain perfect in WCC play this season.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Saint Mary’s-BYU College Basketball odds:
College Basketball Odds: Saint Mary’s-BYU Odds
Saint Mary’s Gaels: -6.5 (-110)
BYU Cougars: +6.5 (-110)
Over: 129.5 (-110)
Under: 129.5 (-110)
How To Watch Saint Mary’s vs. BYU
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. PT
*Watch Saint Mary’s-BYU LIVE with fuboTV (Click for free trial)*
Why Saint Mary’s Could Cover the Spread
This team is 7-0 in the WCC, and the WCC is a good league. There are not a lot of easy wins in this conference. The bottom of the conference isn’t amazing, but it is talented. Pacific was leading at Santa Clara late in regulation on Saturday afternoon when this piece was published. We’ve seen Portland put a scare into other good WCC teams. There are no real freebies in the league, and Saint Mary’s has still passed every test thus far. Randy Bennett is a great head coach. His preparation and attention to detail are second to none. He gives his players a sound, structured offense which maximizes and enhances their talents. The Gaels wobbled earlier in the season in the nonconference portion of their schedule, but once they got into conference play, against familiar opponents, they have been on point.
Also keep in mind that BYU has lost to South Dakota and Utah Valley at home this season. The Marriott Center has not been the impregnable fortress it has been in past years when BYU had comparatively better teams. This BYU team is noticeably inconsistent, and SMC can take advantage of that.
Why BYU Could Cover the Spread
The Cougars know this is it. This is their season. This is their last stand. They have to get on a big run, and they have to pick up high-quality wins to make any sort of push to the NCAA Tournament. The Creighton and Utah wins are certainly good, but they’re not nearly enough to offset all of BYU’s losses and the games the Cougars have allowed to slip away. Urgency and desperation will be important helpers for BYU in this game.
The other thing to point out here is that the spread is 6.5 points for SMC. If you recall, BYU was a 6.5-point home underdog to Gonzaga, and the Cougars covered that spread without too many problems. They lost the game, but they were up five with nearly 2:30 left. They comfortably covered. They can do the same thing here.
Final Saint Mary’s-BYU Prediction & Pick
The Gaels might win outright, but this feels like a “kitchen sink” game in which BYU throws everything at SMC and keeps the game close enough to cover.
Final Saint Mary’s-BYU Prediction & Pick: BYU +6.5