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NCAA Tournament 2021 Odds: Gonzaga vs. Creighton Opening Line, Total (March 28)

NCAA Tournament 2021 Odds: Gonzaga vs. Creighton Opening Line, Total (March 28) article feature image

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Drew Timme (left) and Jalen Suggs.

  • Gonzaga is a big favorite over Creighton in Sunday's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
  • Both the Bulldogs and Bluejays have elite offenses, with the Zags showing very few flaws through two games.
  • Get opening Gonzaga vs. Creighton odds below.

#1 Gonzaga vs. #5 Creighton Odds

Creighton Odds +13.5
Gonzaga Odds -13.5
Moneyline +700 / -1115
Over/Under 158.5
Time Sunday, 1:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday and via DraftKings

Gonzaga and its surgical offense are a big favorite over Creighton, which has an elite offense of its own, in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 on Sunday.

The Zags have ripped through both Norfolk State and Oklahoma in the first two rounds, while the Bluejays needed some help to fend off UC Santa Barbara, but. cruised past Ohio.

How Gonzaga & Creighton Match Up

All stats via KenPom.

What To Know About Gonzaga

Gonzaga metrics are as dominant as any team in recent history. Head coach Mark Few’s Bulldogs are the most efficient offense in the nation, per KenPom. They are first in effective field goal percentage (61.1%) and 2-point efficiency (64.4%). They are strong from beyond the arc, shooting 36.7% as a team. Player of the Year candidate Corey Kispert (19.5 PPG, 46.5% 3P) and guard Joel Ayayi (11.3 PPG, 36.9% 3P) are deadly shooters from deep.

Per Shot Quality, the Bulldogs are one of the best-coached teams in the nation with top rank in points per play after a timeout. And they are an absolute terror in transition, led by superstar point guard Jalen Suggs. The Bulldogs lead the nation in percentage of shots in transition and rank second in expected field goal percentage in transition shots, per Hoop Math.

Oh, and I didn’t even mention potential player of the year candidate Drew Timme in the interior.

Gonzaga is a juggernaut and should be the top-rated team in any set of power ratings. Not only do the Bulldogs have the best offense in the country, the they also actually rank 11th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Unlike last season, there are no major concerns about the Gonzaga defense. There are really no holes on Mark Few’s squad which plays at warp speed (fourth in Adjusted Tempo) and can score in transition as efficiently and quickly as any team I’ve ever seen.

And don’t get caught up in their weak conference schedule as the Zags beat Kansas, Auburn, West Virginia, Iowa and Virginia all on neutral courts in the non-conference. It will take a special effort to take out the Zags this season. I’m not sure anybody can realistically take them out prior to the final four unless someone goes nuclear from 3 while Gonzaga has an off-shooting night. They are the real deal.

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What To Know About Creighton

One of the 2020 Final Four dark-horse contenders returns an entire roster for the 2021 run. Creighton does have the ability to get incredibly hot from the field on offense. In their home win over Villanova, the Bluejays shot 71.4% (20-of-28) from 2-point range, and 46.2% (12-of-26) from beyond the arc.

Creighton has great guard play, led by preseason Big East Player of the Year Marcus Zegarowski (15.4 PPG, 4.4 APG, 39.5% 3P) and senior guard Denzel Mahoney (13.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 34% 3P). It’s one of the few teams with the offensive efficiency to match anyone in the country, ranking first in conference play in effective field goal percentage (55.6%) and 2-point efficiency (55.8%).

The Bluejays rarely turn the ball over and are much improved on defense. Creighton is second in the Big East in adjusted defensive efficiency and effective field goal percentage allowed.

The Greg McDermott suspension had potential to cause issues in the locker room, but it seems as if the team has moved on and used it as a potential rallying point based on their performance in the Big East tournament. Creighton is in a similar boat as Iowa. We know the offense will score every night (even with subpar offensive rebounding numbers), but can the defense get enough stops. It doesn’t have to be elite, just be at a top-50 level. If so, this team is a team worth considering for a final four run — although they do need to clean up their bizarre struggles from the free throw line.

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