A Deeper Look - WCC Hoops on Big Monday
by Strike Point Sports - 02/05/2007
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 traveling to Loyola Marymount. And for those with ESPNU, San Francisco visits Santa Clara.
WCC ESPN Showcase
Gonzaga - 17-7 (10-12-1 ATS)
Loyola Marymount - 10-14 (4-12-3 ATS)
The Zags are finally picking up some steam, winning five straight and eight of their last 10. Ever since they dropped their first conference game in two years at St. Mary's they've been on point, covering three of their last four match-ups.
Gonzaga has owned the Lions, having won nine of the last 10 meetings, including eight straight. The road team has also fared well in this series, going 9-4 ATS in the last 13 games.
Loyola Marymount is just 2-9-3 ATS in its last 14 games overall and has struggled terribly since they lost Brandon Worthy, one of the team's top players. Out since late December, the Lions have won only two of their last ten games, failing to cover eight of those games.
At 2-6 in WCC play, Loyola Marymount is in quite a bit of trouble. If they don't put together a run, they'll have to rely on running the table in the conference tournament just to have a shot at postseason play.
On the road, the Bulldogs are set as 11.5-point favorites. However the line can be found at several books as low as 11. Gonzaga's late scoring attack is the main reason for the total being set at 145.5. The Zags are scoring 80 points a game, while both teams have allowed over 70, on average, so far this year.
Prediction: Gonzaga 78, Loyola Marymount 70
WCC Secondary Showcase
San Francisco - 9-14 (9-11-1 ATS)
Santa Clara - 16-7 (12-9 ATS)
11 p.m. EST
While on paper this game might not look very intriguing, the Dons come into this game fresh off their most impressive performance this past Sunday. San Francisco put up 98 points in a 10-point victory on the road against San Diego. They dropped over 50 at halftime and have now won two straight road conference games.
Santa Clara is Gonzaga's top competition for the WCC crown. At 6-2 in conference play, the Broncos trail Gonzaga by just one game and will have a chance to win the title if they take care of business before their second match-up later this season.
Santa Clara has covered four of the last five meetings, and has won three of the last four games in this series. They are just as hot this season, winners of five of six and they have done backers well, covering five of the last six spreads in these games.
The biggest issue for San Francisco is the question of whether or not Antonio Kellogg will play. Due to academics, one of the Dons' top players is listed as probable but one can never be sure with that issue. Kellogg dropped 21 in last weekend's victory over San Diego.
At home the Broncos are listed as eight-point chalk, but some books have them listed as high as 8.5. The total opened at 131, but is all over the place at both 131.5 and 132.
Prediction: Santa Clara 68, San Francisco 63