St. Mary’s Gaels vs. San Diego State Aztecs Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 17, 2021
Dave Schwab
VI Betting Expert

One of the late-night betting highlights on Friday’s slate is a matchup between the WCC’s Saint Mary’s Gaels and the Mountain West’s San Diego State Aztecs. Tip-off from the Footprint Center in Phoenix as part of this season’s Jerry Colangelo Classic is set for 10:00 p.m. ET.

Score Prediction

Saint Mary’s 61, San Diego State 59

Best Bets

Under 119.5 (-110) at DraftKings

St. Mary's Gaels vs. San Diego State Aztecs Predictions

Saint Mary’s only has two straight-up losses against 10 victories in non-conference play this season. The Gaels just hammered Cal State-Stanislaus 76-39 in a game that did not even have any betting lines. A few of the biggest wins have come against Oregon and Utah State closing as underdogs.

The Aztecs are 6-3 SU through their first nine games. Well rested for this contest, they beat Cal State-Fullerton 66-56 on Dec. 8 but failed to cover as 12.5-point home favorites. Losses on the year include BYU and Michigan as underdogs and USC as a slight one-point favorite.

I have the Gaels winning this game SU as the overall better team. However, this matchup is still too close to call as far as placing that bet. I have way more confidence in the total staying UNDER with two defensive-minded teams facing off against one another.

St. Mary's Gaels vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Odds

Odds Provided by DraftKings - Subject to Change

  • Saint Mary's -2 (-110)
  • San Diego State +2 (-110)
  • Over 119.5 (-110)
  • Under 119.5 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

St. Mary's Gaels vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Resources

  • Matchup: WCC vs. Mountain West
  • Date: Friday, December 17, 2021
  • Venue: Footprint Center
  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • TV-Time: 7FloHoops - 10:00 p.m. ET

St. Mary's Gaels Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 10-2
  • ATS: 7-4
  • O/U: 3-8

Saint Mary’s only bad loss of the season was against Colorado State with a 16-point deficit as a 4.5-point underdog. The Gaels are 7-4 against the spread in games with betting lines. The total has stayed UNDER in eight of those first 11 outings.

The Gaels are not going to overpower San Diego State with an offense averaging 68.1 points per game. However, they can wear the Aztecs down behind a defense that is only giving up an average of 57.6 points a game.

When they do need to score points, there is some decent depth in the lineup behind five players averaging at least nine points a game. Forwards’ Dan Fotu (11.8 points) and Matthias Tass(11.6 points) have led the way. They have also combined for 10 of the Gaels’ 34.8 rebounds a game.

Saint Mary’s is shooting 46.6% from the field and 34.1% from three-point range. It continues to struggle a bit with consistency from the free throw line at 69.6%.

San Diego State Aztecs Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-3
  • ATS: 3-6
  • O/U: 2-7

San Diego State has been a tough team bet on this season at just 3-6 ATS in its first nine games. The Aztecs have been a much stronger play on the total line with seven of nine games staying UNDER the closing line.

As another team that relies heavily on shutting opposing teams down, the Aztecs complement their 63.4-point scoring average with a defense that is allowing 59.2 PPG. The loss of guardLamont Butler with a wrist injury has not helped matters on the offensive end of the court as the team’s third-leading scorer (9.7 points). He remains out indefinitely according to the latest injury report.

Guard Matt Bradley is San Diego State’s leading scorer with an average of 15 PPG. He is shooting 43.1% from the field but just 25.8% from three-point range. Guard Trey Pulliam is next on the list with 10.9 points. He leads the team in assists with 3.3 a game.

The Aztecs are pulling down an average of 35.4 rebounds a game with 9.8 on the offensive end of the court. They are shooting 41.1% from the field and 29.3% from outside the three-point line. This is another team with inconsistent results from the free throw line at 66.1%.

San Diego State guard Lamont Butler will miss multiple games with a wrist injury. (AP)

Inside the Stats - St. Mary's Gaels

  • Record: 10-2
  • VI Ranking: 34
  • PS/G: 68.1 (266th)
  • PA/G: 57.6 (15th)
  • ORtg: 102.9 (184th)
  • DRtg: 87 (30th)

Inside the Stats - San Diego State Aztecs

  • Record: 6-3
  • VI Ranking: 56
  • PS/G: 63.4 (320th)
  • PA/G: 59.2 (29th)
  • ORtg: 93 (313th)
  • DRtg: 86.8 (28th)

Key Players to Watch

  • SMC: Dan Fotu - F (11.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
  • SMC: Matthias Tass - F (11.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg)
  • SDST: Matt Bradley - G (15 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
  • SDST: Trey Pulliam - G (10.9 ppg)

St. Mary's Gaels vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Conclusion

If you love watching defensive matchups, this game completely fits the mold. I am expecting a grinder on the scoreboard that keeps each team below their already low scoring average.

As mentioned, I am giving Saint Mary’s the overall edge with the SU win. However, San Diego State will keep things close right through the final buzzer in what should actually be an entertaining game for college basketball aficionados of stellar defensive play.

These two teams met last season with San Diego State cruising to a 74-49 victory as a slight three-point favorite. The total stayed UNDER 124.5 points in that game. The Gaels have the slight 5-4 SU edge overall in nine previous meetings while going 5-3-1 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in the last two games between the two.

Looking back at Saint Mary’s previous 20 games, the total has stayed UNDER in 15 of those contests. It has also stayed UNDER in 13 of San Diego State’s last 20 games.

St. Mary's Gaels vs. San Diego State Aztecs Betting Trends

  • San Diego State has gone UNDER the point total in seven of its last nine games.
  • San Diego State has failed to cover the spread in six of its last nine games.
  • Saint Mary's has gone UNDER the point total in eight of its last 11 games.