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WCC tournament 2016 odds: Saint Mary's, Gonzaga betting favorites for event

Saint Mary's, Gonzaga and BYU approach the West Coast Conference Tournament this week as the top three seeds in Las Vegas.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Saint Mary's Gaels emerged as the top team in the West Coast Conference this season, going 25-4 straight up and 16-9 against the spread. The Gaels will be looking for their third WCC Tournament win in the last seven years in this season's event, which begins Thursday in Las Vegas.

Saint Mary's is going off at 200/1 on the odds to win the NCAA Tournament at sportsbooks monitored by En route to a 15-3 SU conference record and a regular season conference title, the Gaels were one of the best defensive teams in the nation this year, finishing fourth in total points allowed with 60.3 per game.

The winner of Thursday's game between Loyola Marymount and San Diego will take on the top-seeded Gaels on Friday.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs also finished the 2015/16 season with a 13-5 SU conference record, but an 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS record against Saint Mary's yielded the conference's top seed to the Gaels.

Gonzaga has advanced to the West Coast Conference Tournament final an astonishing 18 straight seasons, going on to win the tournament in 13 of those instances. The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 23-7 SU and 12-16-1 ATS record and are going off at 150/1 to win the NCAA Tournament. They face the No. 7 Portland Pilots on Friday.

The BYU Cougars locked up the third seed in the WCC with a 13-5 SU conference record, going 22-9 SU and 14-12-3 ATS overall. The Cougars have never won the WCC Tournament but have advanced to the final in each of the last two seasons, suffering double-digit losses to Gonzaga in both 2014 and 2015.

BYU's tournament gets underway on Friday against the No. 6 Santa Clara Broncos.

Friday's final matchup is a battle between the No. 4 Pepperdine Waves and the No. 5 San Francisco Dons. San Francisco has dominated this matchup in recent seasons to the tune of an 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS record in its last nine games against the Waves according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database.

The winner of this game will advance to play against the winner of SMU's opening game on Saturday.