Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4865 BYU vs.
#4866 Saint Mary's
Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 11:00pm EST
Written by The Admiral

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BYU Cougars (9-3) vs. St. Mary’s Gaels (9-3)

It is a big-time battle in the West Coast Conference on Thursday when the BYU Cougars take on the St. Mary’s Gaels. Both teams come in at 9-3 but each has lost their one conference game so far this season. BYU fell to Gonzaga on Thursday, 86-69. After two straight postponements, St. Mary’s lost to Santa Clara on Saturday, 66-64.

The Gaels won the most recent contest between these teams, beating the Cougars 51-50 back in March. St. Mary’s holds a 7-3 edge in the last 10 meetings. BYU is favored by 1.5-points.

Cougars Crushed by Gonzaga

After their two previous games were postponed, BYU got a dose of why Gonzaga is the No. 1 team in the country when they lost, 86-69. BYU never led in this game as the Bulldogs shot better than 50% in the victory.

BYU was led by Matt Haarms and Caleb Lohner, who each scored 13. Spencer Johnson led the team with seven rebounds off the bench, but the Cougars had difficulty setting up plays, recording just 10 assists in the game.

The Cougars are averaging 78.1 ppg while allowing 68.9 per contest. They are 58th in the country in field-goal percentage at 47.5% and are shooting 35.5% from beyond the arc. Surprisingly, they are 21st in the country in assists per game at 17.8 and are 47th in total rebounds at 36.9.

BYU is led in scoring by Alex Barcello at 16.3 ppg. He is second on the team in rebounding at 4.7 per contest. Lohner is the team’s leading rebounder (6.5). Gavin Baxter (6.5 ppg) is out for the season.

Broncos Edge Gaels

Santa Clara held onto a two-point victory over St. Mary’s, defeating the Gaels, 66-64. Logan Johnson led St. Mary’s in scoring with 26 points. Tommy Kuhse was the only other Gaels player to score in double digits, adding 12. Matthias Tass had 11 boards.

The Gaels are averaging 68.9 ppg while allowing 60.9 per contest, 27th in the country. They are shooting 44.1% from the field but only 32.7% from beyond the arc. They have been a solid free-throw shooting team, however, hitting on 73.9% of their opportunities.

Four different St. Mary’s players are averaging in double digits, led by Kushe at 14.8 per contest. Alex and Ducas and Tass are tied for the team lead in rebounds at 5.3 per contest with Ducas scoring 10.9 points per game and Tass is averaging 10.1 per contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


This is a big game for both teams, as they would like to get in the win column in conference play. The trouble has been that neither team has had much of an opportunity to get a rhythm going with postponements and delays. When this happens, you have to go with the team that has a little bit better talent. It is the talent that often overcomes rustiness and the Cougars do have the better all-around team.

The loss by St. Mary’s to Santa Clara was a big one, but no one is wagging their finger at the Cougars after losing to Gonzaga. Nothing to hang your head low about when you lose to the best team in the country. I expect this to be a close contest, but BYU will pull it out in the end.

Prediction: Take BYU and give up the points -1.5 (-110)

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


The total is set at 132.5. After having some success offensively early in the season, St. Mary’s has had some trouble scoring. In the last four games, they have not scored as many as 65 in any of those contests and were held to 49 by San Diego State. Even in a loss to the Bulldogs, BYU still put up 69 points. This is a much better team offensively. Prior to the loss to Gonzaga, they had scored 80 or more points in three of the previous four games.

BYU has gone over in five of their last six games while St. Mary’s has gone over in five of their last seven at home. I look for the over here as well as BYU wins, 81-65.

Prediction: Go over 132.5 (-110)

Written By Admir Aljic , "The Admiral"

You want someone to show you how to make some money, then talk to the Admiral, because he is your man. He has been handicapping for many years, so the Admiral knows a thing or two on how to beat the spread and get your pockets loaded with cash. The Admiral has brought his talents to StatSalt & Winners & Whiners and will always find the best pick for you.