A Spot in the Continental Tire Main Event At Stake in Gaels-Aztecs Showdown
Two of the top mid-major teams in the country are set to square off in the first game of the Continental Tire Main Event with the San Diego St vs Saint Mary’s CA odds favoring Saint Mary’s.
This is the fourth season in a row that the Aztecs and Gaels will be meeting.
San Diego State topped the Gaels by 25 points in 2020 and by 10 points in 2021 before a 68-61 win by Saint Mary’s in 2022.
The winner of this game will meet the winner of the Washington Xavier game in the championship game on Sunday in Las Vegas. Xavier is favored in that semifinal.
The college basketball spread has Saint Mary’s listed as the 1.5-point favorite.
Forward Demarshay Johnson and guard Miles Byrd are questionable for San Diego State. Both players have missed the last two games.
Both teams played in the 2023 NCAA Basketball tournament. San Diego State took out top-seeded Alabama in the South Regional before falling to UConn in the Final Four. Saint Mary’s was also eliminated by UConn, losing in the second round of the West Region.
Saint Mary’s is priced at +5000 in the odds of winning the national title with San Diego State coming in at +8000 in the championship odds.
Both San Diego State and Saint Mary’s fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll with Saint Mary’s still at No. 23 in the coaches poll.
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Line: Saint Mary’s 1.5 | Total: 130
Ledee Making Quite the Jump
Whether it was during his one season at Ohio State, the two years at Texas Christian, or during the 2022-23 season for San Diego State, Jaedon LeDee struggled to carve out a substantial role as he averaged less than 20 minutes and started four out of 118 games.
What a difference a year makes as he has moved into the role of go-to scorer after the Aztecs lost four players from its 2022-23 rotation.
LeDee is playing 33.3 minutes per game through the first three games. He is averaging 25 points on 62.5% shooting, 9.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals. He already has as many double-doubles in three games this season as he had in 39 contests last season. Keep that in mind when looking at the San Diego St vs Saint Mary’s CA odds.
LeDee had four points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes in last season’s meeting against Saint Mary’s.
Four of San Diego State’s last five games have gone over the total.
No Sophomore Jinx For Mahaney
Austin Mahaney’s career at Saint Mary’s got off to an impressive start as he had 25 points in his first game. He would finish his freshman season as the No. 2 scorer for the Gaels and even more is expected of him this season.
He leads the Gaels in scoring (17 points per game) and assists. Classmate Harry Wessels and Harvard transfer Mason Forbes are other top offensive options and their impact factors into the San Diego St vs Saint Mary’s CA odds.
The Gaels have plenty of size thanks to the 7-foot Wessels and 6-foot-10 Mitchell Saxen as the Gaels are pulling down 47 rebounds per game, 11 more than San Diego State.
The total has gone under in each of the last five games played by Saint Mary’s.
Mahaney had 20 points with Alex Ducas and Logan Johnson combining for 32 points and 10 rebounds as Saint Mary’s took over in the second half on the way to a 68-61 win at the Footprint Center in Phoenix in the Jerry Colangelo Classic.
San Diego State came into the game as the 1.5-point favorite thanks to its back-to-back wins over Saint Mary’s.
The game went over the 126.5-point total on a Mahaney foul shot with 20 seconds left to play.
San Diego State vs Saint Mary’s Betting Preview
The teams have a combined 16 players from California on the roster so there is some familiarity between the programs in the recruiting process.
San Diego State is 1-2 against the spread this season with the Aztecs covering in 10 of 19 neutral-site games over the last three seasons. Saint Mary’s has a 9-7 record against the college basketball betting lines at neutral-site games during that stretch. Keep that in mind when looking at the college basketball picks today.
Both teams average 78.7 points per game but the biggest difference is that the Gaels allow 49 points per game, 20 fewer than San Diego State.
Among Friday’s games, only the LSU-North Texas matchup has a lower total than the 130-point mark for the San Diego State-Saint Mary’s contest.
Much of the early money is coming in on San Diego State to win this matchup.
For NCAA betting news, college basketball lines, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.