We are down to the college basketball conference finals this week and our Monday parlay features three high-quality games. With the NCAA Basketball Tournament approaching, bettors have limited chances left to enjoy college basketball odds. On the card this Monday is Elon vs Hofstra, Saint Mary’s vs Gonzaga and Northern Kentucky vs Oakland.
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Elon Phoenix (9-8) vs Hofstra Pride -5 (13-9)
When: Monday, March 8, 6:00 pm, ET
Where: Atlantic Union Bank Center, Harrisonburg, VA
Analysis: The CAA Championship Semifinal between Elon and Hofstra should be a quality contest, but one team brings in all the momentum.
Elon has won its last six games, including a 69-48 win over Towson last week. It has been a fine run of form after posting a 3-8 record earlier this season. Just getting to the semifinal game has been an incredible effort, so all the momentum is with the Phoenix.
Hofstra made a good start to its season, but three losses from the last four games isn’t an ideal run at this stage. The Pride suffered losses to Drexler and back-to-back defeats at the hands of James Madison.
Both losses to James Madison came by four points, so they weren’t massively outclassed. However, it was a stark contrast from how they started the season. The problem has been on the defensive side of the ball, which is allowing 72.8 points per game.
Elon is allowing only 65.2 points per game, but scoring eight points less than Hosftra. Jalen Ray is the top scorer for Hofstra, scoring 18.6 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting. Hunter McIntosh leads Elon with 15.3 points at a lower clip of 39.4 percent.
Momentum is going in Elon’s favor but the better team is Hofstra. It has the ability to outscore most of its opponents and Elon would need to lift its scoring percentage to score an upset win.
The Pride will need to play better than they have recently, but they could be saving themselves for this game. It’s a do-or-die situation for both schools, so expect to see some nerves on court.
Take Hofstra to win in the first leg of the Monday college basketball parlay.
Pick: Hofstra 75, Elon 66
Saint Mary’s Gaels (14-8) vs Gonzaga Bulldogs -18 (24-0)
When: Monday, March 8, 9:00 pm, ET
Where: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Analysis: The Saint Mary’s Gaels has the mammoth task of facing Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Tournament Semifinal on Monday.
The Gaels have done well to make it this far with a 14-8 record, but there won’t be a bettor in the land picking an upset against the best team in the country.
Stranger things have happened in college basketball, but the Bulldogs are a formidable bunch and a loss at this stage of the season looks likely.
The only negative about the 24-0 record of the Bulldogs is the strength of schedule. However, they showed their class when beating Kansas, West Virginia, Virginia and Iowa in the early stages of the season.
It has been over two months since Gonzaga faced a nationally ranked team, which is where the concern lies. Bettors are unsure if Gonzaga has improved since December, which is the only query ahead of this game.
Santa Clara pushed the Bulldogs to within 14 points, but it was still a double-digit win for the top-ranked team.
Saint Mary’s comes off a five-point win over Loyola-Marymount, where it scored just 52 points in the win. Such a low offensive output won’t get it done against Gonzaga, which averages 92.9 points per game.
Saint Mary’s beating Gonzaga would be the biggest upset in college basketball this season. It shouldn’t happen and we expect 99 percent of the moneyline action to come for the Bulldogs at our online sportsbook.
Covering the spread isn’t automatic for Gonzaga, which defeated Saint Mary’s by only 18 points earlier this season. The Gaels could keep this game until halftime, but expect the class of Gonzaga to show up when it counts.
Pick: Gonzaga 93, Saint Mary’s 68
Northern Kentucky Norse -1½ (14-10) vs Oakland Golden Grizzlies (11-17)
When: Monday, March 8, 9:30 pm, ET
Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN
Analysis: The Horizon League Championship Semifinal pits the Northern Kentucky Norse against Oakland Golden Grizzlies.
Northern Kentucky has the much better record at 14-10 following a 70-69 win over Detroit Mercy. It was a nail biting performance and it gives the team momentum coming into this game.
Oakland hasn’t been as impressive this season, posting just 11 wins from 28 games. However, the Golden Grizzlies have been battle hardened by recent performances.
They have played three overtime games and two double-overtime games from the last five encounters. Two of those resulted in losses, but the most recent was an 87-83 win over Youngstown State.
Statistically, there isn’t much separating these teams. The only noticed difference is the shooting percentage where Northern Kentucky has a 45.1 percent shooting average, compared to 41.8 percent for Oakland.
Conference Final Parlay Prediction:
It is hard to know what to expect from the lesser-known teams, but Northern Kentucky should get the job done.
It has been the better team this season and Oakland could be tired after so many overtime games in the last few weeks.
Pick: Northern Kentucky 73, Oakland 66