College Basketball Odds, Picks for Gonzaga vs. Texas: How to Bet This Marquee Duel
Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Arterrio Morris (Texas)
Gonzaga vs. Texas Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Bulldogs last erased a double-digit deficit to take down Michigan State, while the Longhorns have rolled their non-conference opponents.
It's going to be a crazy environment at the Moody Center as Chris Beard looks to pick up a signature win early in the 2022-23 season.
Can Texas take down the perennial NCAA title-contending Bulldogs, or will Gonzaga roll behind Drew Timme?
Gonzaga eked by Michigan State on Friday night, and it showed that mortality of the powerhouse program.
Timme is back for his senior season and is a dominant force. He dropped 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting and added four assists.
But it's the surrounding cast where the Bulldogs' issues arise.
The loss of Chet Holmgren cannot be understated. His shot-blocking prowess deterred opponents from the paint and his ability to stretch the floor allowed Timme to work 1-on-1 around the rim.
Both the offense and defense has taken a step back with Anton Watson and Efton Reid manning the five. We saw Mady Sissoko dominate the duo, quickly forcing them into foul trouble. Michigan State was able to use the pick-and-roll to create open looks around the rim.
That wasn't possible with Holmgren.
Andrew Nembhard's absence was also extremely evident. Gonzaga turned the ball over 18 times — it never hit this number last season — and lacked the ball security needed when facing tougher competition.
Gonzaga will progress with time, but it's vulnerable for the time being. This is a team that lacks a second-hand man to Timme and has a lot more weaknesses than in years past.
There's a lot of optimism in Austin for Beard's second season at the helm after a tumultuous 2022.
Texas finished the year 21-10, but a lot of transfers didn't pan out. Tre Mitchell and Devin Askew both re-entered the transfer portal after one year with the Longhorns, and Courtney Ramey left for Arizona for his final year of eligibility.
Even with Andrew Jones graduating, this Longhorns team is arguably better than a season ago.
Sir'Jabari Rice (New Mexico State) and Tyrese Hunter (Iowa St) make way via the transfer portal to provide athleticism and versatility on both ends of the floor.
Texas also brings in a pair of five-star freshmen in Dillon Mitchell (No. 4) and Arterio Morris (No. 18). Mitchell is the immediate starter at the five while Morris provides a spark off the bench.
The real test begins on Wednesday night. Texas took down UTEP and easily dispatched Houston Christian to begin the season, but neither are up to the level that Gonzaga is.
Per usual, defensive intensity is Texas' bread and butter. The Longhorns are No. 1 to begin the season in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (per KenPom) and 63rd in Division I experience.
Offensively, the Longhorns operate at a snail's pace — 330rd in the country — and aren't a strong 3-point shooting team. Rather, they use their athleticism to attack inside and crash the boards.
It'll be the same hard-nosed style of basketball with a more talented cast this time around. Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr return as the primary ball handlers in a season where an NCAA title isn't out of the question.
Gonzaga vs. Texas Betting Pick
The win against Michigan State didn't change my mind about Gonzaga. The Zags are overvalued in the market and this is the perfect opportunity to fade them on the road.
The Bulldogs have clear identity issues they still need to sort through and now draw their toughest opponent yet in an aggressive Longhorns defense. Gonzaga should once again struggle with turnovers and allow for plenty of transition opportunities.
Texas is going to have the home crowd behind it, and its main source of offense comes from inside the arc — where Gonzaga is most vulnerable. Timme can only do so much and I'm not sure Watson/Reid will have any success against Dylan Disu, Christian Bishop and Mitchell in the paint.
Top-15 teams at home also cover the spread at a 57% rate, equivalent to an 11% ROI. The line opened with Texas as a one-point favorite and has quickly jumped to (-2) at most books. KenPom's projected line is Texas -4.
The only area Gonzaga has the edge is with Timme's offensive prowess — the Texas backcourt is much better. But there's only so much he can do in a crowded paint because Watson and Reid cannot stretch the floor.
I love the Longhorns to take home the win Wednesday night, and I would back their ML up to -130, or the spread to -3.