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Streaking Saint Mary’s Battles Slumping Rams in First Round

The No. 7 Saint Mary’s Gaels will be gunning for their 21st straight outright win as betting favorites on Thursday, when they hit the floor against No. 10 Virginia Commonwealth in a West Region first-round matchup at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Rams head to the big dance after limping to a 3-3 SU and 2-3-1 ATS regular-season finish.

Shark Bites
  • Saint Mary’s is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games against the Atlantic 10.
  • The total has gone UNDER in Saint Mary’s last five games as a favorite of 4.5 points or less.
  • VCU is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games as an underdog of 4.5 points or more.

The Gaels make their first March Madness appearance since 2013 amid a 22-3 SU run, with each of their three defeats coming at the hands of the West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga Bulldogs. Saint Mary’s is just 11-10 ATS since Christmas, but 9-2 ATS in its past 11 when favored by five or fewer points.

VCU reached the second round last year as a No. 10 seed in its sixth straight March Madness appearance. The Rams have produced mixed results since reaching the Final Four in 2011, going 3-5 SU and 6-2 ATS in their past eight tournament contests.

VCU Rams vs St. Mary's Gaels Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The VCU Rams will look to cover the spread vs the St. Mary's Gaels on Thursday, as the Rams are 13-17-3 ATS versus the spread this season, while the Gaels are 17-13-1 ATS. VCU is 18-14 against the total, while St. Mary's is 12-19 versus the total betting line.

This game puts the St. Mary's Gaels, most recently No. 3 in the Odds Shark power rankings, up against the VCU Rams, who rate No. 40 in the latest survey.

Statistical Matchup

Scoring and defensive stats point to some betting edges in this matchup. The game features St. Mary's's No. 164-ranked scoring average of 72 PPG, against a VCU Rams defense rated No. 39 and allowing 66.41 PPG. The St. Mary's Gaels FG% has averaged 49.59% to date this season, more than the VCU Rams shooters have managed so far (46.15% per game).

Recent Outings Betting Recap

VCU got 15 points from JeQuan Lewis but lost anyway, 70-63, to Rhode Island on Sunday at PPG Paints Arena.

The Gaels endured a 74-56 loss at the hands of the Bulldogs on Tuesday, despite a 14-point effort from Calvin Hermanson at Orleans Arena.