VCU vs St. Mary's Picks VCU To Spring Upset

Chris Wassel
By , Updated on: Mar 16, 2023 08:00 PM
VCU vs St. Mary's Picks VCU To Spring Upset

The NCAA Tournament creates what we call "Onions" moments! There is a slight chance of seeing another one on Friday afternoon. That's right. Let's head to Upstate New York. At Online Sports Betting, we preview one of those classic 12-5 matchups from the West Region. So, VCU vs Saint Mary's Picks feature the Virginia Commonwealth Rams against the Saint Mary's Gaels. Can the Gaels bounce back after a thrashing at the hands of the Gonzaga Bulldogs?

  • WHAT: 12 - VCU versus 5 - Saint Mary's
  • WHEN: Friday, March 17th, 2023, 2:00 pm ET on TBS 
  • WHERE: MVP Arena, Albany, New York
  • WHY: West Region 1st Round Upset Potential 

The VCU vs Saint Mary's Picks spotlight two teams with divergent styles of pace and play. St. Mary's plays versatile and athletic. Now, VCU altered its strategy some from previous years. There are parts of the old formula which works, but these Rams turn the ball over a bit much. However, they can slow pace down to a crawl. Saint Mary's stands at +5000 to win the championship while VCU is at +50000. The table is here, courtesy of Bovada Online Sportsbook.

VCU vs Saint Mary's Picks Wonder If Gaels Get Sucked In

VCU vs Saint Mary's Picks wonder if Gaels get sucked in on Friday afternoon. So, what is with the fascination that is VCU? The Rams are only a 12 seed in the West. Now, again, these are not like those Shaka Smart teams that were full of athletic players who could generate pace and clamp down defensively at the same time. Here is a version that turns the ball over a good deal, shoots erratically, and yet has this ability to go on big runs.

When the Rams went down nine points to Dayton in the A-10 Conference Final, it looked like the end for VCU. Naturally, VCU turned on the jets and pulled away for a 68-56 win. Dayton generated almost zero over those final 12-15 minutes. Balance for the Rams is on a lower scale with five players that can score nine or more points a contest. VCU ranks 24th in points allowed and have a defensive ratings which ranks seventh. The Rams can slow athletic teams down if they are on their game.

The one thing which could boost March Madness online betting fortunes is a bit more of a move in the spread. Honestly, that remains a question mark between now and Friday afternoon. Getting four points is not a lot for the Rams, but then again 60 points is usually a struggle. That is how much VCU drags pace. So, does Saint Mary's start bogging down much like what happened against Gonzaga? If they do, that spells big trouble for the Gaels.

Saint Mary's Should Have An Easier Time Friday

VCU vs Saint Mary's Picks believe Saint Mary's should have an easier time Friday. However, the key part is should. On paper, this looks like around a double-digit point win for the Gaels. Ironically, the Randy Bennett coached team yields just 60.1 points per game themselves and is capable of popping totals in the 70's. This team lost to Gonzaga twice recently. It was that second loss which worried many pundits. The Bulldogs shut down the Gaels from the middle part of the first half onward.

As a result, the Gaels lost by a season-worst 26 points. Their worst loss of the year was nine points previously to those very same Bulldogs. Can VCU some of those same things? That answer is no. Again, the theory is St. Mary's has four players capable of racking up rebounds and scoring double figures each game. After that, depth for the Gaels is kind of lacking from the offensive end. With Mitchell Saxen and Kyle Bowen, VCU should be able to control the boards.

Those are two reasons the coaches for Saint Mary's have an advantage. Now, the only way this becomes a disadvantage is if the Gaels' front court gets into foul trouble. Now, that is possible. VCU has three athletic forwards who are 6-foot-7 or taller that can bang with St. Mary's. The winner of that matchup wins the game.

Again, cue up the beef and the three-point shooting. VCU gets hot every so often from the perimeter. That is the only unknown variable in this tilt.

VCU vs Saint Mary's Picks With The Rams Getting Four Points

Okay, VCU vs Saint Mary's picks go with a big risk getting four points. The rationale is the Rams feature this never-say-die attitude. VCU won 27 games this season when many had them pegged for barely getting to 20. What is scary is the "Pythagorean" projected the Rams for almost 30 wins. St. Mary's has the same expected win total.

Yes, we make a case that VCU has underperformed because of the conference they are in. Hence, we take the ultimate risk, eagerly roll with the four points, and believe an outright win for the Rams is very possible. If VCU forces the Gaels into foul trouble and shoots effectively over the top, Saint Mary's may not win this one.

VCU Rams To beat the St. Mary's Gaels

What About The Over For Tonight?

Finally, VCU vs Saint Mary's Picks considers the underr for Friday night. This game could become quite the slugfest and that suits both teams but more VCU here. The Rams do not want to run with the Gaels. Keep that game half court, make their shots, and slow everything down. If erratic shooting rears its ugly head, that is even better.

VCU vs Saint Mary's To score less than 123 points

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Meet the author

Chris Wassel

Chris Wassel is a veteran sports writer with over 20 years of experience publishing thoughtful analysis and insightful perspectives on everything from hockey to basketball, football, and more. As a seasoned journalist, Chris has established himself as a leading voice o...

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