College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Alabama vs. Gonzaga: Will Both Teams Reach 100?
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: JD Davison
- No. 3 Gonzaga takes on No. 16 Alabama in the Battle in Seattle.
- The Bulldogs have won two of their three games vs. ranked teams.
- Keg breaks down the game and offers up his pick.
Alabama vs. Gonzaga Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The 12th-ranked, per KenPom, Crimson Tide will make the journey far from home Saturday night, as they travel to Seattle to take on the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Gonzaga comes off of a much-needed four-day break after a grueling stretch that consisted of four games in eight days, two of which came against top-10 teams. One of those games was against Duke, which gave the Zags their first regular-season loss since February 2020.
After the Duke loss, the Zags seemed in complete disarray, as they won by just nine — as a 32.5-point favorite — against Tarleton State. For some context, the Texans rank 197th in the country, per KenPom.
Meanwhile, Alabama turned its loss to Iona into a wake-up call, winning its next two games and blowing out Miami by 32 points as a 9.5-point favorite.
Saturday, however, will essentially be the Tide’s first true away game. They won’t be playing in Spokane, but the Battle of Seattle is just a short four-hour drive from Gonzaga.
Will the Zags be able to get back on track against Alabama? Historically, they are 16-9 against SEC opponents and 9-4 in the Battle of Seattle, which hasn’t been played since 2015.
Jaden Shackelford’s decision to return to Alabama after considering a transfer has been a saving grace for the Crimson Tide. Shackleford currently leads the team in points (18 per game), while posting a FG% of 41.9. He is also hitting 39.1% of his 3-pointers.
The Crimson Tide rank 24th, per KenPom, in tempo and 11th in offensive adjusted efficiency seven games into the season. This has been mainly due to their ability from outside the arc. The Tide average nearly 29 3-point attempts per game and are currently hitting 34.2% of their 3s.
The Alabama defense has been one of the best in the country, specifically at defending against the 3 and limiting inside passes. The Crimson Tide ranks 14th in opponent 3-point percentage, limiting them to 25.3%.
They also rank seventh in college basketball at limiting assists per field goal — something Gonzaga power forward Drew Timme’s game has been established around.
Finding ways to disrupt last year’s Karl Malone Award winner would be a great start to keeping this game close.
But that may seem easier said than done. While it has been elite at defending the perimeter, Alabama has allowed opponents to shoot better than 50% from inside the arc.
Alabama averages 85.7 points per game this season, while limiting the opposition to 69.4.
The Crimson Tide could give Gonzaga a fight if they can maintain the level of scoring they displayed against Miami. But if they continue to struggle defensively inside the arc, Chet Holmgren and Timme will have no trouble restoring their confidence.
Not many coaches in the country would even consider scheduling four top-25 teams in the first 10 games of the season. But for Gonzaga head coach Mark Few, it’s hardly an option when you play in the WCC.
Before the loss to Duke, the Zags looked dominant against both Texas and UCLA. Things seemed to have taken a turn after that, though. However, it could be that Gonzaga — like every other team — is human, and playing four games in eight days is hard no matter who you are.
Gonzaga is still one of the best teams in the country, as it is ranked No. 1, per KenPom. The Zags also post first-place rankings in adjusted offensive efficiency and 2-point shooting percentage.
The Zags have averaged 86.8 points per game, while allowing opponents to record 62.5 through eight outings.
Like the Crimson Tide, the Zags also operate at one of the fastest paces in college basketball, ranking eighth in average possession length — whereas Alabama ranks 19th.
I think two things will play a deciding factor in this game for the Zags: turnovers and rebounds.
Recently, turnovers have been a significant issue for Gonzaga, as it is averaging more than 15 in its past two games. However, in total this season, the Crimson Tide have been even worse, averaging 14.1 a game to the Bulldogs’ 13.
Both teams have also been two of the best at rebounding, ranking inside the top 10 in defensive rebounds per game. But Gonzaga has allowed opponents to average just 28.3 rebounds per game, whereas Alabama has given up 33.9 in total per game.
Alabama vs. Gonzaga Betting Pick
With how Gonzaga has struggled lately, I’m not confident enough in its ability to limit this Crimson Tide team and cover a 9.5-point spread. However, I’m not confident enough in the Crimson Tide’s interior defense against the Bulldogs either.
What I do know is that these are two of the fastest teams and two of the best shooting teams in the country. And while both defenses have been strong, Alabama defends well against the 3, where only 25% of the Zags’ point distribution exists.
In comparison, the Crimson Tide have been excelling from deep, which is one of Gonzaga’s worst metrics. The Zags rank 72nd, allowing opponents to hit at 29.3% from 3.
I expect this game to be one of the highest-scoring and fastest-pace games we see all season. I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams approach 100. I’m taking the over at 160.5 and I would bet it up to 164.5