UConn vs. Saint Mary’s: 2023 NCAA Tournament West Region Second Round Preview

Mar 18, 2023 - 3:28 PM

UConn Huskies vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels Game Info

UConn Huskies (26-8, 13-7 Big East) vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels (27-7, 14-2 West Coast)

  • Date: Sunday, Mar. 19, 2023
  • Start Time: 6:10 p.m. ET
  • Location: MVP Arena — Albany, NY
  • Coverage: TNT
  • Last Meeting: December 17, 2006 — UConn defeated Saint Mary’s 89-73 in Storrs.

UConn vs. Saint Mary’s Betting Odds

Odds courtesy of FanDuel

  • Moneyline: UConn: (-164) | Saint Mary’s: (+136)
  • Point Spread: UConn: -3.5 (-110) | Saint Mary’s: +3.5 (-110)
  • Total: 128.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)

Betting Trends

  • UConn 2022-23 Betting Trends: 22-11-1 ATS; 19-15 to the Over
  • Saint Mary’s 2022-23 Betting Trends: 20-13 ATS; 16-17 to the Over
  • UConn is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games.
  • UConn is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games following a SU win.
  • The Under is 4-1 in UConn’s last five games.
  • Saint Mary’s is 5-1 ATS in its last six neutral site games.
  • The Under is 8-3 in Saint Mary’s last 11 NCAA Tournament games.


UConn head coach Danny Hurley just beat one legendary head coach in his last game (Rick Pitino) and now faces another coaching legend in Randy Bennett. Bennett earned his 500th career win earlier this season, which at the time was the sixth-most among active coaches at their current school. Saint Mary’s is looking for its third Sweet 16 appearance in school history, while UConn looks for its first Sweet 16 trip since winning the national title in 2014.

UConn Huskies Betting Preview

UConn received a bit of a scare from Iona, trailing 39-37 at the half before outscoring the Gaels 50-24 in the second half. UConn is one of five teams to beat No. 1 overall seed Alabama this year and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the AP poll after starting 14-0. UConn is 20-11-1 ATS as a favorite this year.

Saint Mary’s Gaels Betting Preview

Saint Mary’s has lost to just one non-Gonzaga opponent (Loyola Marymount) since December 18. The Gaels have impressive non-conference wins over three NCAA Tournament teams (Oral Roberts, Vermont, and San Diego State) and own a neutral-site victory over a Vanderbilt team that is one of the favorites to win the NIT. The Gaels are 2-2 ATS as underdogs this year.

UConn Huskies vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels Betting Pick and Prediction

This is a strength vs. strength matchup as UConn’s fourth-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency (per KenPom) meets Saint Mary’s eight-ranked defense. VCU was a trendy upset pick over Saint Mary’s as the Gaels had not seen much press in the West Coast Conference, and many figured the Rams’ unique style of play would give the Gaels fits. However, Saint Mary’s won the turnover battle 14-12, out-rebounded VCU 37-29, and won by 12 despite shooting just 3-of-17 (17.6%) from 3-point range.

UConn does have a distinct homecourt advantage playing more locally in Albany. Still, oddsmakers likely factored that into this point spread, which means Saint Mary’s is getting a lot of respect in this matchup. UConn’s big men tandem of Adama Sanogo and Donovan Clingan was too much to handle for a smaller Iona team, as they combined for 40 points and 22 rebounds. However, Saint Mary’s has the size necessary to compete with those two and has had plenty of experience guarding skilled big men, having seen Gonzaga’s Drew Timme three times.

No one seems to be picking the Gaels to win outright, but we are more than comfortable backing them on the point spread as a contrarian play.

Pick: Saint Mary’s +3.5 (-110 at Caesars)

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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