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Portland vs. St. Mary's- 1/12/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Saint Mary's-California Gaels (14-1) at Portland Pilots (9-6)

College Basketball: Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm (Earle A. Chiles Center)

The Line: Portland Pilots +12 -- Over/Under: 128.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPNU

We have some West Coast Conference college hoops action late Thursday night, as the #21 St. Mary’s Gaels take on the Portland Pilots.

The #21 St. Mary’s Gaels will look to build on their current 8-game winning streak, which has the Gaels sitting atop the WCC standings at a perfect 4-0 in conference paly after defeating San Francisco 63-52 in their last outing. Leading scorer and rebounder for St. Mary’s this season, Jock Landale, did just that for the Gaels, logging a game-high 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds and 3 blocks for yet another double-double this season. Dane Pineau came 2nd with 14 points on an efficient shooting night where he went 6 of 8 from the floor in addition to 12 boards and 3 blocks of his own, while Joe Rahon finished 3rd with 13 points and a share of the team lead with 4 assists. Emmett Naar missed all 7 of his field goal attempts, but made up for it by hitting all 6 of his free throws to go along with his 4 assists. Landale leads St. Mary’s with an average of 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game this season, while Rahon is the Gaels’ leader in the assists category with an average of 6 helpers per game this season. As a team, St Mary’s is scoring 74.1 points per game on the 12th-best field goal percentage in the country at 50.1%. The Gaels are also making 39.6% of their attempts form beyond the arc and 75.6% from the foul line. The Gaels are also shining on the defensive end, holding opponents to the 3rd-fewest points per game this season at 58.1.

Portland vs. St. Mary's- 1/12/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Pilots will be looking for a big home upset after suffering their first conference loss of the season, a 70-42 thumping at the hands of Santa Clara. Jazz Johnson was the only Pilot to notch double figures scoring, making up nearly half of Portland’s offensive output with 19 points on 7 of 13 from the field with a pair of triples. The rest of the Pilots’ lineup went just 6 of 30 from the field for 23 points, including 8 from Portland’s leading scorer this season, Alec Wintering. Wintering did however chip in a team-leading 4 assists, but also committed 7 turnovers in the loss. Phillipp Hartwich also added 6 rebounds for the Pilots in the losing effort. Wintering leads Portland with an average of 21 points and 6.1 assists per game this season, while Gabe Taylor is the team’s leading rebounder with 6.5 boards per game this season. As a team, Portland is scoring 75.2 points per game on 45.6% from the field, 39.4% from behind the arc and 74% from the foul line.

St. Mary’s is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games against a team with a winning home record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games while the over is 5-1 in their last 6 conference matchups. Portland is 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record and 1-4 ATs in their last 5 Thursday games while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall.

I just can’t back Portland after they failed to show up against an average Santa Clara squad. St. Mary’s, along with Gonzaga, is the cream of the crop in the WCC and could be smelling blood if Portland doesn’t show up right from the opening tip. Add in the fact that St. Mary’s is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in the Pilots’ backyard and that the road team is 8-3 ATS and the favorite is 23-11 ATS in the last 34 meetings, and all signs point to a St. Mary’s cover. 

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