Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#733 Fresno State 129.5 vs.
#734 Saint Mary's -8.5
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 11:00pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#733 California State University, Fresno
#734 Saint Mary's College of California
2-2
3-1
19-12
19-15
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76
72
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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: November 20, 2019, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA, 11:00 PM ET

A west coast showdown between the Fresno State Bulldogs and Saint Mary’s Gaels will take center stage on Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center. Instead of hanging their heads after an overtime loss to San Diego, the Bulldogs came out firing on offense in Sunday’s 92-47 win over San Bernardino. Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s has earned back-to-back wins over Cal Poly and Long Beach State. Both wins were decided by 18-plus points.

Bulldogs roar back into the win column

After dropping a tough overtime loss to San Diego, the Bulldogs came roaring out with a statement performance against San Bernardino. They forced 18 turnovers and shot 50.0 percent from the floor, while knocking down 12 3-pointers. The team also held the Coyotes to 47 points and a 28.6 field goal shooting percentage.

Can they do it again in their upcoming match-up with the Gaels?

They’ll have to defend the perimeter if they even have a prayer of hanging around in Wednesday’s game. The Gaels are shooting a ridiculous 45.5 percent from 3-pointer, which is the seventh-best percentage in the country. This game could get ugly in a hurry if the Bulldogs play lazy on defense and fail to contest long-range shots.

Another area of concern for the Bulldogs is their free throw shooting. They are finding ways to get to the line, but they are failing to knock down free buckets. The team as a whole shot 66.7 percent from the line against San Diego and 51.4 percent against San Bernardino. Those are discouraging numbers when heading into a game against the Gaels.

Guard Jarred Hyder, Fresno State’s leading scorer, sat out in the game against San Bernardino with a hip flexor injury, leaving his availability for this game in question. It’ll be something to monitor heading into Wednesday considering the Bulldogs will need all of the help they can get.

Can the Gaels continue to live by the 3-pointer?

Wednesday’s game against Fresno State could be cloudy with a chance of raining 3-pointers.

The ability to knock down long-range shots consistently makes the Gaels a difficult team to play against. Just ask Cal Poly and Long Beach State what they think after they were lit up by the 3-point shooting frenzy. Perhaps the scariest part is the fact that the Gaels are taking great shots. They aren’t a team merely chucking up 3-pointers at random. The shots are coming due to great ball movement and exhibiting patience on the floor.

They’ll need all of the above to beat the Bulldogs and earn their third straight win.

Teams are only averaging a 29.6 shooting percentage from 3-point range against Fresno State. The Bulldogs don’t necessarily pop on a defensive stat sheet, but they are a feisty group quick to put bodies on shooters.

Jordan Ford and Tanner Krebs are spearheading the 3-point shooting party, which could end with them getting extra attention for this game. Both players have knocked down 18 combined 3-pointers in the first four games of the season.

Fresno State hasn’t shown anywhere near the splashy shooting capabilities of the Gaels. So this is a game where the Gaels could pull away quick if they’re hitting their shots. They are holding opposing teams to 43.4 percent shooting on defense, which is good enough to limit a shaky Fresno State offense.

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The Bulldogs likely aren’t going to leave the Golden 1 Center with a win, but they’re good enough to keep from getting blown out in this one. This will be the first road game for the Gaels since their season-opening neutral site game against Wisconsin. So I’m expecting their ridiculous shooting statistics, particular from beyond the arc, to come back down to earth a bit in this game.

They are averaging 47.3 percent shooting from the floor so far this season, but that number drops all the way to 39.3 percent when they’re away from their home building. Both teams also have Winthrop in common as a previous opponent. The Bulldogs actually defeated them prior to losing to San Diego. However, they are the only team that has defeated the Gaels so far. It serves only as a reminder that the Bulldogs won’t be a cupcake opponent in this game. Ford and Krebs have to go cold at some point.

I’m taking the Bulldogs and the points on Wednesday.

Prediction: Fresno State Bulldogs (+9)

Full-Game Total Pick

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Even for a cold shooting night, the Gaels pack too much of a punch on offense for me to even consider taking the under betting total. There will be a significant reduction in the number of 3-pointers that go into the hoop, but Ford and Malik Fitts will find a way to get buckets in this game. Fitts in particular should have a nice scoring performance due to his ability to do damage at the rim.

Fresno State isn’t dropping 92 points of offense in this game, but they also won’t go quietly against the Gaels defense, either. I’m taking the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over (129.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.