A late night matchup between two West Coast teams to conclude a busy Saturday in college basketball. Saint Mary's (14-4) heads to Gersten Pavilion to take on Loyola Marymount (9-7) in what will appear to be a one sided affair.
Both of these teams run an incredibly slow pace as the Gaels rank 327th in the nation while the Lions rank 228th in that same category. One thing with this Saint Mary's team is they will allow the other team to set the pace. As seen from past games, if a team wants to run they will run with them, if a team wants to slow the tempo then they are happy to do that as well. The Gaels rely heavily on their defense as they rank 19th in the country in this category. Pairing that with how LMU struggles offensively ranking 208th in offensive rating, we have a recipe for a total that we like. As we look at the 3 point shooting for these teams, the Gaels shoot 7.1 3's per game at 33.6% and the Lions manage 6.9 3's per game at 33.3% which keep both teams in the bottom half rankings in the country for those categories. Look for both teams to eat away at the shot clock and not get good looks from the 3. The game plan will be to move the ball inside and work the paint in hopes for more effective field goals. When it comes to misses, these teams are neck and neck in offensive rebounding as they average exactly the same at 7.8 offensive boards per game which puts them both at 257th in the nation. Slow pace, poor shot selection, few second chance points for both teams and this should be a pretty nasty offensive night for both squads.
These two teams head to head do not offer any inclination that this will be any sort of fast paced up and down game. In the last 3 meetings, these teams have gone under this 127 number as they have scored a combined 99, 126, and 108 in those games. Not much has changed for either team in terms of roster in that time frame so we expect the same type of effort here today from both teams.
Currently the odds sit at St Mary's -7 (-110) O/U 127. Not much has changed with line movement for this game. This is typically a very low total, but with the way these teams traditionally play each other and how they play now, it is not anything too concerning.
St Mary's/LMU U127 (-110)
Odds via BetUS