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UCLA vs. Saint Mary’s March Madness prediction: Gaels a live dog

Despite a wild first day full of upsets that included betting favorites in the east (Kentucky), the Chalk held on to form in the top half of the region. Saint Mary’s and UCLA had different routes to their first-round wins, but both successfully avoided potential upsets.

Saint Mary’s beat Indiana by 29 points and ended the first half on a 34-5 run and started the second half. The Hoosiers’ offense was thrown off balance by the Gaels’ outstanding defense, and four players scored double figures for Saint Mary’s in the blowout win.

Akron presented UCLA with a very difficult challenge, leading by as much as eight points late in the second half. It took the Bruins a late 15-2 run to move forward from that point and win another close NCAA tournament game. This side has consistently found postseason magic in late game for the past two seasons, winning three games in last year’s tournament by possession or overtime.

Johnny Juzang
Johnny Juzang
AP

The market opened UCLA as a 3.5 point favorite and it was immediately set to 3 with Gael’s money hitting the market opener. As of Friday afternoon we’re seeing as much as 2.5 seconds of pop in some spots, so there are signs that the market is expecting this game to be closer than the opening game says.


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Randy Bennett is one of the best in-game coaches in the country, and trying to prepare for the Saint Mary’s offense and playstyle with just a day’s notice is quite difficult.

The total is set at just 126.5, but this could be a sneaky potential overplay as there are some avenues to offensive efficiency for both attacks.


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The Bruins are about a point or two better than the Gaels, but three or more points didn’t show enough respect from Saint Mary in the market.

The game: Saint Mary’s, +2.5.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/19/ucla-vs-saint-marys-march-madness-prediction-gaels-a-live-dog/ UCLA vs. Saint Mary’s March Madness prediction: Gaels a live dog

JOE HERNANDEZ

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