Monday’s WCC Semifinals

Championship Week in college basketball gets things started with a doubleheader of tournament action this Monday night in the West Coast Conference Semifinals from Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

The first game on the slate pits the surprising Pepperdine Waves against the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs. The San Diego Toreros have also made an unexpected run to the WCC semifinals to face No. 2 Saint Mary’s-California.

Pepperdine Waves vs. No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (ESPN , 9 p.m. ET)

Opening Odds: Gonzaga -23 ½, Total 157

Betting Matchup

Pepperdine finished in eighth in the WCC regular season standings at 6-10 straight-up with a losing 16-17 record overall. Drawing No. 9 Pacific in the opening round, the Waves came away with a 61-53 victory as slight 1 ½-point favorites. They went on to beat Loyola Marymount 68-65 as 4 ½-point underdogs before stunning San Francisco 89-72 in Saturday’s quarterfinals as eight-point underdogs.

Pepperdine is now 6-3 against the spread over its last nine games. Colbey Ross has been a force during this current three-game run. The Sophomore guard leads the team in scoring with 19.4 points per game and he has combined for 46 points in his last two starts.

The top-seeded Bulldogs have been resting on the sidelines during the first three rounds of this tournament after cruising to a perfect 16-0 SU run through the regular season. Gonzaga won all 16 games by double figures, but it slipped to 9-7 ATS after failing to cover in four of its last six contests. Overall, it is 29-2 SU with a 20-11 record ATS. The total has gone OVER in three of its last four games.

In their first meeting against Pepperdine this season, the Bulldogs failed to cover as heavy 28 ½-point home favorites in a 92-64 victory on Feb. 21. Junior forward Rui Hachimura is Gonzaga’s leading scorer this season with 20.6 PPG. He scored a game-high 23 points in that earlier win against the Waves.

Betting Trends

-- The Waves have covered in their last four neutral-site games and they are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against teams with a SU winning record. The total has gone OVER in six of their last seven Monday games.

-- The Bulldogs are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 Monday games and they are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games coming off a win ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in 10 of their last 13 games following an ATS win.

-- The favorite in this series has gone 24-9-3 over the past 36 meetings. The total has stayed UNDER in four of the last six matchups.

San Diego Toreros vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels (ESPN2, 11 p.m. ET)

Opening Odds: Saint Mary's -5, Total 130 ½

Betting Matchup

San Diego hammered BYU 80-57 on Saturday as a 3 ½-point underdog to advance to Monday’s semifinal round. As the No. 7 seed, it opened the tournament with a 67-47 romp over Portland as a 13-point favorite. The Toreros (20-13 SU, 17-15 ATS) also covered as 5 ½-point favorites in Friday’s 62-45 victory against Santa Clara. The total stayed UNDER the closing line in all three games.

San Diego went 7-9 SU in the WCC regular season with an even 8-8 record ATS. Two of those losses (SU and ATS) came against St. Mary’s by a combined 37 points. The total stayed UNDER in both losses.

The Gaels’ recent SU five-game winning streak came to an end with a 69-55 loss to Gonzaga as 9 ½-point home underdogs in their regular season finale. Going back to a SU road loss to BYU on Jan. 24, Saint Mary’s (20-11 SU, 17-14 ATS) has failed to cover in eight of its last 11 games with the total staying UNDER in each of its last seven contests. It went 11-5 SU in conference play with a 7-9 record ATS.

Junior guard Jordan Ford has been the Gaels’ leading scorer this season with 21.5 PPG. He recently posted 21 points against San Diego on Feb. 23 in a 66-46 romp.

Betting Trends

-- The Toreros are 5-2 ATS in their last seven Monday games and they have covered in four of their last five games played at a neutral site. The total has stayed UNDER in 10 of their last 14 neutral-site games.

-- The Gaels have failed to cover in seven of their last nine games at a neutral site, but they improve to 5-2 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss. The total has stayed UNDER in their last four games against a SU winning team.

-- St. Mary’s has an 8-3 record both SU and ATS in its last 11 games against San Diego with the total staying UNDER in the last five games.