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St. Mary's vs. BYU - 12/31/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

BYU Cougars (8-4) at St. Mary's Gaels (11-1)

College Basketball: Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 11:00 pm (McKeon Pavilion)

The Line: St. Mary's Gaels -5 -- Over/Under: 149 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN U

The BYU Cougars will travel to McKeon Pavilion to take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The BYU Cougars won their 2nd straight game and improved to 9-4 (0-0 WCC) on the season after they defeated the Northern Iowa Panthers, 84-76, this past Friday. BYU used a strong defensive first half to take a 38-38 at the break and held at least a four-point lead throughout the 2nd half in the win. BYU was impressive on the offensive end shooting 50.0% from the field and 42.9% (9-21) from beyond the arc. The Cougars held Northern Iowa to 40.0% shooting from the field and outrebounded the Panthers by a 41-27 margin. Leading the way for the BYU was Kyle Collinsworth who had a double-double with 12 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and a block. On the season, the Cougars have been led by Kyle Collinsworth (14.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 7.4 apg, 2.2 spg), Kyle Davis (13.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg), Nick Emery (15.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 apg), and Chase Fischer (17.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 spg). Offensively, BYU is averaging 83.7 ppg on 47.7% shooting from the field and 37.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Cougars average 8.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.25. Defensively, BYU is allowing their opponents to average 72.9 ppg on 40.4% shooting. The Cougars have a rebound margin of 6.3 and a turnover margin of -0.1.

St. Mary's vs. BYU - 12/31/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Saint Mary’s Gaels won their 5th straight game and improved to 11-1 (2-0 WCC) on the season after defeating the Utah Valley Wolverines, 65-50, this past Monday. Saint Mary’s was outstanding defensively as they gained a 33-17 halftime lead and never let the Wolverines get within 10 points in the 2nd half. Saint Mary’s shot 42.4% from the field however, did struggle from beyond the arc hitting just 11.8% (2-17) of their three-pointers. The Gaels held the Wolverines to just 27.4% shooting from the field and outrebounded Utah State by a 49-35 margin. Leading the way for Saint Mary’s was Dane Pineau who had a double-double with 10 points, 15 rebounds, 1 steal, and an assist. On the season, the Gaels have been led by Emmett Naar (14.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.7 apg), Joe Rahon (10.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 6.8 apg), and Dane Pineau (10.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg). Offensively, Saint Mary’s is averaging 79.7 ppg on 53.8% shooting from the field and 45.2% shooting from beyond the arc. The Gaels average 10.6 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 2.02. Defensively, Saint Mary’s is holding their opponents to an average of 57.4 ppg on 38.0% shooting. The Gaels have a rebound margin of 10.9 and a turnover margin of 0.1.

The Cougars are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Gaels are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 22-7 ATS in their last 29 games overall.

BYU has one of the better offensives in the country and have a ton of go-to options led by Kyle Collinsworth who is almost averaging a triple-double per game. Saint Mary’s lost all of their starting five from last season due to graduation however, the Gaels have been outstanding to start the season as they are getting it down on both ends of the floor as they rank 1st in the country in FG% and 3rd in the country in scoring defense. Saint Mary’s has been great however, the Gaels haven’t played the level of competition that BYU has and I think this is just too many points for the Gaels to cover against Kyle Collinsworth and the Cougars. Take BYU and the points. 

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BYU Cougars +5

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