Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST.
West Coast Conference Tournament – Orleans Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada.
11:30 PM EST. As the 20th ranked team in the nation, the Gaels of St. Mary's are once again headed to The Big Dance. Last season, the Gaels made it to the second round of the NCAA's before falling to second-seeded Arizona. Mindset is everything and when you know your dance card is punched, it's almost impossible to match the effort of these schools who only have one path to the Madness and it goes through you. With that, either the Gaels took in all that Sin City had to offer before its matchup with #10 seed Pepperdine or they really aren't that interested in this West Coast Conference championship. St. Mary's was down 15 points in the first half to a very weak Waves’ squad and trailed 62-57 with four minutes to go before Calvin Hermanson put his team on his back with three straight three-pointers in two minutes, as the Gaels escaped with a 69-66 victory. St. Mary's is known for its tough defense, but this unit couldn't get a stop all night long against the injury-depleted Waves. Watching the game, it never felt like St. Mary's was ready to kick it into high gear. That lethargic and uninspired effort will not suit them well against a BYU team that is playing for their NCAA tournament lives.
While the WCC is known largely as a two-team conference with Gonzaga frequently meeting St. Mary's in the finals of the WCC championship, it has been the Cougars who have played the role of spoiler as of late by making it to two of the last four WCC title games. The 2017-18 edition of the Cougars is loaded with scoring talent that led this team to a 23-9 record overall, but playing third fiddle has the Coogs on the outside looking in on the tournament bubble despite a decent record. BYU is led by guard Elijah Bryan who put up 27-points against San Diego in the quarterfinals and averaged 17.9 points per game this season. The Cougars have two other very capable scorers in Yoeli Childs who averaged 17.5 PPG, and TJ Haws who put up 12 PPG. Being the third option on this team is the only thing that prevents Haws from putting up almost 20-points a night. BYU comes into this game desperate and capable which is a terrifying combination for anyone that isn't all in mentally and physically. The Cougars have been owned by the Gaels as of late, including losses in both meetings this season, but those defeats should only further fuel the fire of what should be a supremely motivated squad. You can keep the points, as we're going for the kill, BYU outright is the call.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
#733 BYU +208 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.16)