Tonight when St. Mary's faces off against the Santa Clara Broncos, look for the Broncos to use their superior defense to shut down the Gaels, and take the win tonight.

Yesterday's NCAA Basketball free pick extended my overall record to 34-24-5 ATS as Harvard took the win over Princeton. Lets see if our luck continues as I provide another NCAA Basketball pick.

Today's Five Star graded play on Santa Clara Broncos as they take on St. Mary’s Gaels in the semifinals of the West Coast conference set to start at 8:00 PM ET. My proprietary sports handicapping database and simulator shows a high probability that Santa Clara will lose this game by fewer than seven points and has a solid opportunity to win the game. The other semifinal game features Gonzaga against San Francisco starting at 10:30 PM ET. Both games are being played in Las Vegas. 

Santa Clara is Capable of Winning This Game

The Santa Clara Broncos are playing their best basketball right now and have won their last three games. St. Mary’s had lost three straight games before defeating an inferior Portland team 83-69 and covering the 11 1/2 point spread. The Gaels defense has not been playing well and as a result five straight games have played ‘over’ the posted total. 

St MarysDefenses

The St. Mary’s Gaels defense ranks second in conference and 138th nationally allowing 67.1 points per game, but have allowed a conference worst 77.7 points per game over the past three games. They are also allowing 70.8 points per game in road tilts. 

The Santa Clara Broncos rank sixth in conference and 262nd nationally in scoring defense allowing 71.6 points per game, but it is their improved offensive play and stronger rebounding that will make this a very close game tonight. 

Offenses

The Santa Clara offense is peaking at the right time. They rank third in conference and 65th nationally in scoring offense at 72.5 points per game and have averaged a remarkable 80.3 points per game over the past three games. St. Mary’s has been largely consistent on offense over the course of the season and rank best in conference and 12th nationally in scoring offense averaging 79.1 points per game. With the significant rise in the Broncos offense I see the two units equal for this game. 

Rebounding will be the reason the Bronco Win

Santa Clara has done a great job rebounding the basketball recently and I strongly believe that they will dominate both ends of the glass in this game. Strong defensive rebounding is critical against a high powered offenses because it limits second chance scoring opportunities.

Santa Clara ranks fifth in conference and 159th nationally in total rebounding averaging 35.0 boards per game and have averaged an outstanding 39.7 boards per game over the past three games. St. Mary’s ranks sixth in conference and 181st nationally in total rebounding averaging 34.5 boards per game, but have been horrid getting just 29.7 boards per game over the past three games. 

Supporting System

Supporting this graded play is a system that has produced a record of 107-61 ATS for 64% winners since 2005. Play on a dog revenging two straight losses where team scored less than 60 points and playing their second game in three days.

Of the 168 plays made based on the criteria of this system 30% or 51 plays of them have covered the spread by seven or more points. 

My Pick: Take the Santa Clara Broncos.