Baylor vs Gonzaga Odds, Picks | Friday NCAAB Betting Guide
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Drew Timme (Gonzaga)
Baylor vs. Gonzaga Odds
Baylor and Gonzaga come together for the Peacock Classic at The Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the best game of Friday night’s slate.
The Bears are coming off of a brutal 26-point loss to Marquette on Tuesday, while Gonzaga escaped with a win over Xavier on Sunday.
Neither of these teams are playing their best brand of basketball at the moment, but these are still two of the top offenses in the country. Per KenPom, they rank one and two in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, so the firework cannons should be ready.
Gonzaga ranks 51st in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and Baylor ranks 77th, all while both Tempos rank in the top 90.
Gonzaga has a pretty even distribution of points on 2s and 3s, but Baylor predominantly plays through its guards. Adam Flagler and L.J. Cryer are the usual suspects from deep, so expect them to bounce back in a big way from the Marquette loss.
At the moment, neither team seems consistent, and they both get a bit sloppy with turnovers. With that being the case, expect the high-octane tempo to remain in place for the entirety of this matchup and for the total to go over.
Baylor has had a rough go of it lately. The Bears have dropped two of their past four games.
Yes, one was to Virginia and the other was to Marquette — one of the best home teams in the country in recent years — but the Bears still have a litany of issues to solve as the season progresses into conference play.
This team cannot guard 3-pointers, a major problem in modern college hoops. The Bears are allowing opponents to shoot nearly 40% from deep, which does not intersect well against a team like Gonzaga (41% from deep).
Asking the undersized backcourt of Flagler and Cryer to possibly match up with Julian Strawther is a little lofty.
Those of us who bought Julian Strawther stock early are currently paying dividends (It’s me. I bought early.). pic.twitter.com/Vy85ykiT8o
— Brenna Greene (@BrennaGreene_) November 28, 2022
Baylor also doesn’t guard the inside very well. Opponents are shooting nearly 50% on 2-pointers against the Bears, and Gonzaga has Drew Timme — a Wooden Award candidate — leading the charge.
The Zags are shooting 57.6% from inside the arc and have five players with an eFG% over 54%. They should score at will.
Now, the Bulldogs have their own issues on the defensive end. Opponents are shooting around 35% on 3s against them, and Baylor hits 38.4% of outside shots. Cryer, George and Flagler should have plenty of open looks.
The Baylor backcourt is a dominant offensive force, but Gonzaga is also allowing its opposition to shoot over 50% from inside the perimeter. Flo Thamba, Jalen Bridges and Caleb Lohner will also get a ton of scoring chances.
Photo by CBB Analytics
Lastly, Gonzaga turns the ball over at a 19.5% clip, which ranks 199th in the nation. This is one area where Baylor thrives on defense, turning over opponents 24% of the time.
Dale Bonner leads the way with over two steals per game, but four others in the Baylor rotation also average at least one per game.
The Bears should get some breakaways and be able to get the ball in transition.
Baylor vs. Gonzaga Betting Pick
With that being said, the total is the play in this game. Each team has been inconsistent protecting the ball and defending high-profile offensive weapons.
The Zags and Bears will turn it over a fair amount, and each team should score at will.
With each team averaging around 16 seconds per possession, expect this game to hit the over. Take it from 163.5 (-110), and play to 165.
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