BYU vs Gonzaga Odds & Picks | College Basketball Betting Preview
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Rasir Bolton (Gonzaga)
BYU vs Gonzaga Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are coming off of a big victory over the San Francisco Dons following a home loss against Saint Mary’s.
The WCC regular season title is within reach again after Saint Mary’s lost to Loyola Marymount on Thursday night.
On Saturday, the Zags host the BYU Cougars. BYU currently ranks in the middle of the pack in the WCC, but it just lost to Pepperdine on Thursday.
The Bulldogs have an elite offense, and the Cougars allow plenty of shots near the rim, which will only help the Zags’ post players — Drew Timme in particular.
Look for the Zags to cover the spread at home.
The Cougars are an abysmal offensive team. They turn the ball over at a 21.1% clip and are only shooting 31.9% from 3-point range, with a 40.1% 3-point attempt percentage.
They are shooting 53.2% from inside the arc, though.
On the flip side, Gonzaga’s defense does have its problems. It’s allowing teams to shoot 34.7% from 3-point distance. That said, the Zags rank 122th in Rim and 3 Rate, which is about average, per ShotQuality.
In addition, BYU ranks 157th in points per possession (PPP) on catch-and-shoot 3s, 131st in PPP on off-the-dribble 3s and 126th in PPP at the rim.
Also, the Cougars rank 213th in Open 3 Rate (again, ShotQuality), so they will not be able to exploit the defensive issues of the Zags as much as possible.
On the defensive end, the Cougars can thrive. They rank 39th, per KenPom, in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
Although they do not turn teams over that often (less than 20%), they are holding opponents to 47.5% inside the arc. Gonzaga has scored nearly 57% of its points on 2s, so this will come into play.
However, BYU ranks 64th in PPP on post-ups, which is Timme’s bread-and-butter.
Even if the Cougars are able to defend Timme on the interior, the Zags have far too many 3-point threats for BYU to keep track of.
Julian Strawther, Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith are all shooting over 40% from 3-point range.
Since the Cougars are allowing 1.16 PPP at the rim (140th) and 1.02 and 1.03 PPP on catch-and-shoot and off-the-dribble 3s, the Zags should burn them from distance.
Photo by CBB Analytics
BYU has can crash the glass moderately well (ranking 91st in the nation). Meanwhile, Gonzaga ranks 114th (ShotQuality) in the same category. Timme might be limited on the offensive glass, but that is about it.
Tempo should also not be an issue for the Zags, either. They rank 46th, per KenPom, and BYU ranks 49th.
BYU vs Gonzaga Betting Pick
The Zags only beat BYU by one on the road, but being in Spokane, Washington should tell another story.
Yes, BYU has a better defense, but it will yield open 3s. The Cougars may contain Timme’s scoring in the game, but they will not limit his impact. He can kick the ball to the Bulldogs’ deep threats, who have been able to knock down 3s at a 37.8% clip.
Take Gonzaga on the spread at home against its conference rival at -10.5, and play it to -11. The Zags’ offense is far too dominant for a BYU team that has dropped four of its last six conference matchups.
Pick: Gonzaga -10.5 (Play to -11)
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