NCAAB

NCAA Tournament Betting: Grand Canyon vs. Saint Mary's Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
NCAA Tournament Betting: Grand Canyon vs. Saint Mary's Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

For a meeting between faith-based private schools, let us look at the West region wherein No. 5 Saint Mary's will take on No. 12 Grand Canyon. Tipping off at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, the Gaels are an opening-round favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook against the Antelopes.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Grand Canyon vs. Saint Mary's Betting Odds

Date and Time: Friday, March 22nd at 10:05 p.m. ET

Spread: Saint Mary's -5.5 (-105)

Total: 131.5 (-115/-105)

Moneyline:

  • Grand Canyon: +176
  • Saint Mary's: -215

Grand Canyon vs. Saint Mary's Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Grand Canyon

  • numberFire Ranking: 52nd
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 70th
  • KenPom Ranking: 52nd
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 51st
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 63rd
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 134th

Saint Mary's

  • numberFire Ranking: 24th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 13th
  • KenPom Ranking: 18th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 16th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 45th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 358th

Grand Canyon vs. Saint Mary's Best Bet

Saint Mary's -5.5 (-105)

Fresh off winning the West Coast Conference Tournament for the first time this decade, Saint Mary's head coach Randy Bennett feels like he has his best group in quite some time. The Gaels also did well to win the regular-season title behind a 15-1 WCC record. This team from the Bay Area arrives at the big dance with momentum.

Grand Canyon University has been competing at the highest division of college hoops since only 2013, yet the Antelopes have already qualified for the NCAA Tournament on three separate occasions. To build steam, all three of those appearances have come within the past four years under head coach Bryce Drew. In 2024, GCU earned a 12 seed at the big tourney, which is their highest in school history.

The Gaels are powered by stifling defense in 2024. Thus far, SMC has surrendered just 58.7 PPG; that is the second-best clip of 362 Division I teams. Still, Saint Mary's can score with the best of them. In the backcourt, East Bay local Aidan Mahaney and WCC Player of the Year Augustas Marciulionis have combined for 26.5 PPG this year.

Representing the Phoenix area, the Lopes are certainly no slouch. As champs of the WAC for the second time in four seasons, Grand Canyon is playing with confidence. However, I think they will have met their match in the Gaels.

Considering how sound Saint Mary's (-5.5) is on defense, I don't mind laying the points with Bennett's bunch. When looking at FanDuel Sportsbook's national champion market, SMC shows 60-to-1 odds whereas GCU yields 500-to-1. That is a fairly significant difference.

Per ESPN Analytics, the Gaels have a 77.9% chance to emerge victorious on Friday night in Eastern Washington. From there, I am confident they can win by six or more points (-105 odds).

Grand Canyon vs. Saint Mary's Prop Bet

Alex Ducas To Record 8+ Rebounds (+138)

Saint Mary's basketball is known for proficiency in the fundamentals and technical aspects of the game -- Australian senior Alex Ducas is a prime example of this.

Standing at 6-foot-6, Ducas has transformed himself into a 10-5-2 player. However, he has improved his rebounding efforts through the latter portion of the season, hauling in 7.1 boards per game since December 29th.

In 2024, the Gaels are ranked 25th (39.5 RPG) in total rebounding. For Grand Canyon, they show up 51st (38.2 RPG) in that same metric. Pertaining to Ducas, a player who has brought down 41 total boards through his past five contests, he's in an advantageous position to collect eight or more rebounds (+138 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook) versus the Lopes.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.