A Deeper Look - WCC Hoops on Big Monday
by Strike Point Sports - 02/12/2007
The West Coast Conference's spotlight continues on Big Monday tonight. Each week we'll see the ESPN network nationally televise a WCC game. This week it's the Gonzaga Bulldogs clashing with co-first place Santa Clara. And for those with ESPNU, San Francisco is at home vs. Loyola Marymount.
WCC ESPN Showcase
Santa Clara - 18-7 (14-9 ATS)
Gonzaga - 18-8 (11-13-1 ATS)
Without a doubt this is the biggest game all season in the WCC. Gonzaga and Santa Clara both share first place in the conference standings, however the Bulldogs took care of the Broncos on the road back in January. If Santa Clara can repay the favor, it will go a long way to try and win the title outright, and certainly help improve their NCAA Tournament chances.
The biggest story in tonight's contest is the absence of star forward Josh Heytvelt, suspended because of his arrest this past weekend. Without his all-around game, Gonzaga will need to get mass contributions from its other scorers Derek Raivio and Jeremy Pargo.
Santa Clara still comes into this game as a heavy underdog. They are currently listed as 7-point dogs, and that mainly is because of Gonzaga's dominant home court advantage. The 'Zags hold the nation's longest current winning streak at home, at 50 after this past weekend's win over St. Mary's. The total for tonight's game is at 135.
The Broncos have fared well on the road at 6-3 this season. They have yet to pull off a victory over Gonzaga in the past ten meetings. Despite going 0-10 SU, they have split those meetings against the number.
Santa Clara has covered and won four straight and are 14-9 ATS this year. The Bulldogs have had spotlight in the WCC the past year in a half on Big Monday but have failed to cover their last eight spreads in Monday games.
Prediction: Santa Clara 73, Gonzaga 70
WCC Secondary Showcase
Loyola Marymount - 12-14 (6-12-3 ATS)
San Francisco - 10-15 (10-12-1 ATS)
11 p.m. EST
Two of the conference's lesser teams will square off, looking to gain an edge before the WCC tournament begins in early March. San Francisco still holds the upper advantage with a 6-4 mark in conference play. Loyola Marymount is 4-6 and only 4-9 on the road.
Despite the Dons being just 4-5 at home, oddsmakers have installed them as 7-point favorites. The total in this game is posted at 131.5.
Overall, San Francisco is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 home games. The Gaels have gone 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings, winning three of the last four. Loyola Marymount has reeled off three straight, covering each one of their numbers.
Still without star guard Brandon Worthy, the Gaels are also likely without center Matthew Knight. He has averaged 16 points and eight rebounds a game and it will be difficult to make up his contributions.
The Dons have covered 14 of their last 20 games as a favorite of 7.0-12.5 points. The road team has also 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Prediction: San Francisco 71, Loyola Marymount 62