Santa Clara vs Gonzaga Odds, Picks: Good Spot for Broncos?

Santa Clara vs Gonzaga Odds, Picks: Good Spot for Broncos? article feature image

Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Julian Strawther (Gonzaga)

Santa Clara vs Gonzaga Odds

Thursday, Feb. 2
11 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Santa Clara Odds
-110o / -110u
Gonzaga Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

There are a few guarantees in life. Death. Taxes. And a WCC game starting at 11 p.m. ET on a random Thursday in the month of February.

Santa Clara will be taking the trip to Spokane, WA, as Gonzaga will look to continue its quest of clinching yet another WCC title.

With a total opening at 160 on FanDuel, you could expect these two teams to be flying up and down the court. My only question is if the Broncos are going to be sleepy after losing as such big favorites at home this past Saturday against Pacific.

Gonzaga's incredible 75-game home winning streak was snapped back on Jan. 19 against Loyola Marymount. The Bulldogs now trail Saint Mary's in the WCC regular season standings by one game.

For the first time in what feels like forever, there is a window open for another WCC team to steal the shine from the Bulldogs.

To me, this doesn't feel like the juggernaut Gonzaga team that we're used to watching in the past, and its three losses thus far already speak enough volumes.

Gonzaga has also been terrible ATS so far this season, with a 7-14 record coming in. Will that trend continue?

Let's see if we can make a case for either side in this Santa Clara vs. Gonzaga matchup.

Santa Clara Broncos

The Broncos were narrowly defeated by the Bulldogs back on Jan. 7, 81-76. They ended up covering the opening number of +8, though.

The story of the Broncos' season has been riding guard Brandin Podziemski, who was a transfer from Illinois. Podziemski dropped a career-high 38 points in last Saturday's 95-89 loss to Pacific.

He's averaging over 19 points per game, so he's going to have to lead the charge once again for the Broncos to have any shot at pulling off this upset.

Currently, Santa Clara ranks 79th in the country in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, 125th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and 52nd in Adjusted Tempo, all per KenPom.

So, it's safe to say we can expect some points here, as has been the case for majority of the Broncos' games this season.

Between Carlos Marshall Jr. and Carlos Stewart, they have to give Podziemski some extra help — since this game will be decided between the two backcourts.

I think it will be real telling early on if we're going to get a sleepy effort from the Broncos, but considering they're still in the middle of the WCC standings, they have seeding to play for when the conference tourney starts up next month.

The key number here is 73, as the Broncos are 10-3 overall when scoring over 73 points.

Unfortunately, they may need to score more than that in this particular highly-explosive offensive matchup.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Drew Timme is always going to be the story when breaking down a Bulldogs game. The senior big man is having another spectacular season, averaging 21.4 points an evening.

Coming off of a surprising eight-point performance against Portland, a tasty matchup is in store going up against the Broncos' big man Jaden Bediako.

Meanwhile, guard Julian Strawther is having a superb season, as he dropped a career-high 40 points in Saturday's game.

Diving into the underlying metrics, the Bulldogs are sixth in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, 79th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and 36th in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom.

Gonzaga should be able to dominate on the glass, and capitalize with some offensive rebounds. On the defensive side, it should be able to get into transition more frequently.

I expect this trend to continue here, where both of these teams love to go fast, and the Bulldogs have the make-up to take advantage of some of the matchups they have in the frontcourt.

The talent make-up of Mark Few's roster isn't like his usual Gonzaga teams, but it's certainly still good enough to make a deep run in March.

The key in this game will be to contain Podziemski, and if the Bulldogs can accomplish that, then I see no reason as to why they don't win this game by 20+.

But the key word here is if.

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Santa Clara vs. Gonzaga Betting Pick

Based on the market, not many people are believers in this Gonzaga team. Now, it could easily just be the simple fact that the market has not adjusted to this Gonzaga team yet, as it's not nearly as loaded as years past.

I love what Santa Clara can bring to the table offensively, and I think Podziemski has a huge day to at least give it a shot at pulling off this upset.

Normally, I would blindly take an over in this spot, but with a total of 160 and a double-digit spread, there really isn't a lot of wiggle room for cold stretches throughout this game.

It's a square pick, but I think this is way too many points to pass up on.

I trust the Broncos to score enough points to keep this interesting late.

Pick: Santa Clara +14 (Play to +13)

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