College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Gonzaga vs. BYU (Saturday, February 5)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Mark Few of Gonzaga.
- Gonzaga is a huge favorite over BYU on Saturday night, and has the line has grown over the last day -- up from -13 to -13.5.
- Alex Hinton is laying the big number with the explosive Zags, who are still operating at incredible efficiency on offense.
- Get his full Gonzaga vs. BYU preview and pick below.
Gonzaga vs. BYU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
When Gonzaga and Brigham Young get together, you can typically get a lot of points on the scoreboard. The last eight meetings have averaged 165.5 points, with at least one team scoring at least 80 points each game. The Zags have won seven of those meetings, including a 110-84 victory in Spokane, Wash.
In that game, Gonzaga shot 69% from the field and had three players more than 20 points, led by 30 points from Drew Timme. Since then, the team has continued rolling through the WCC, winning its last five games by 28.8 points. Last time out, the Bulldogs coasted to a 92-62 win over San Diego. Overall, Gonzaga is 18-2, including a perfect 7-0 in conference play.
In contrast, BYU has lost three games in a row, including an outright defeat to Pacific as an 8.5-point favorite. Last time out, it suffered a 73-59 setback against San Francisco. The Cougars are 17-7 and 5-4 in the WCC.
They aren’t in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament yet, but they’re now an eighth seed, according to Bracket Matrix. The committee won’t hold losing to Gonzaga against it, but a win would certainly provide a résumé boost.
It will be a quick turnaround for both teams, who played on Thursday. So, will Gonzaga continue rolling along or will BYU pull the upset on its home floor?
Timme and Chet Holmgren continue to form one of the most dominant duos in the nation and rack up national recognition. Timme is averaging 17.9 points and six rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10 junior is one of the most efficient scorers in the country, shooting 60.9% from the field and making 63.3% of his two-point attempts. He was recently named as one of 10 candidates for the Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar award given to the nation’s best center.
Holmgren is averaging 14.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.3 blocks, plus he’s second in the country with an effective field-goal percentage of 73.2 percent. He flashed his whole skill set against San Diego, collecting 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, while draining three 3-pointers. The freshman was named as one of top 10 candidates for the Karl Malone award given to the nation’s top power forward.
In addition to Holmgren and Timme, the Zags have double-digit scorers in Julian Strawther, Andrew Nembhard and Rasir Bolton. Strawther is also averaging 6.1 rebounds, while Nembhard averages 5.4 assists and 1.7 steals. Bolton is a 43% shooter from deep.
Gonzaga is second in adjusted offensive efficiency and offensive rating, first in effective field-goal percentage and two-point field-goal percentage, as well as 18th in 3-point shooting percentage.
However, It is also elite on the defensive end. Gonzaga is 17th in adjusted defensive efficiency, seventh in defensive rating, and fifth in effective field-goal percentage defense, as well as sixth in field-goal percentage defense.
Guard Alex Barcello leads the team with 17.3 points per game to go along with 3.7 rebounds and three assists. The senior is one of the deadliest 3-point shooters in the nation at 47% on 5.6 attempts per game. He is coming off a 25-point performance in the loss to San Francisco.
Guard Te’Jon Lucas is averaging 10.4 points and 4.4 assists, plus he’s a 36% shooter. Forward Fousseyni Traore is averaging 8.1 points and 8.2 rebounds, along 1.2 blocks.
BYU’s offense is 61st in adjusted offensive efficiency and 125th in offensive rating. It has struggled during the losing streak with a .483 eFG% against Pacific and 59 points on .427 eFG% against San Francisco. For the season, it’s 157th in effective field-goal percentage and 173rd in two-point percentage.
Defensively, the Cougars have been strong. They rank 32nd in adjusted defensive efficiency, 29nd in effective field-goal percentage defense and 16th in 3-point defense. BYU is 23rd in the nation with 39.9 rebounds per game and plus-7 in rebounding margin per game. However, the Cougars are undersized and likely will not have that advantage against Gonzaga.
Gonzaga vs. BYU Betting Pick
In the first meeting, Timme scored 30 on 13-of-14 shooting from the field. While it’s unlikely that he shoots 93% from the field again, I would expect another big game from him. BYU has two players 6-feet-9 or taller. Gavin Baxter is injured and Atiki Ally Atiki averages less than 10 minutes per game. Timme and Holmgren should have big games inside and outscore the arc.
BYU averages 12.7 turnovers per, which is 205th in the nation. Look for Gonzaga to turn the Cougars and run at every opportunity. The Zags rank second in the country in adjusted tempo and have the shortest average possession length at 14.4 seconds.
I expect Gonzaga to enter a raucous environment in Provo, Utah. However, BYU doesn’t have the firepower to stick with Gonzaga for an entire game. That said, the Zags will wear down the Cougars with their depth and cruise to a double-digit victory.
Pick: Gonzaga -12.5
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