College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Loyola Marymount vs. Gonzaga (Thursday, January 27)
Photo by Oliver McKenna/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Rasir Bolton (Gonzaga)
- Gonzaga hosts Loyola Marymount in a matchup it normally dominates in WCC play.
- The Zags have scored over 100 points in three of their four WCC games thus far.
- Alex Hinton explains why the value lies on the total in this duel.
Loyola Marymount vs. Gonzaga Odds
|Loyola Marymount Odds|
-106o / -114u
-106o / -114u
Gonzaga will enter its game vs. Loyola Marymount at 15-2 overall and 4-0 in WCC play. The Bulldogs have won eight in a row and beat San Francisco, 78-62, last time out.
Despite that, Gonzaga lost its No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll to Auburn after the Tigers’ win over Kentucky. Gonzaga may be a little extra motivated and looking to take it out on an opponent it has dominated in Loyola Marymount.
The Lions are 9-8 and 2-3 in WCC play. They had won two games in a row over Portland and Pepperdine, but suffered a 83-51 beating at the hands of Saint Mary’s to end its homestand.
Loyola Marymount has had similar results against Gonzaga. The Bulldogs have won 24 straight meetings overall and 31 straight at home. Gonzaga has won its first four conference games by an average of 27 points and accordingly, is favored by 27.5 points in this matchup.
However, I see more value in the total.
Loyola Marymount is led by forward Eli Scott. The senior is averaging 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. He excels at drawing contact and is averaging 5.1 free attempts per outing while shooting 77% from the line.
Guard Joe Quintana is averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting 42.5% from deep on seven attempts per game. He leads the WCC with 3.0 3-pointers made per game. He knocked down 10 3-pointers in the Lions’ two wins last week.
Guard Cam Shelton is averaging 8.3 points on the year, but he has stepped up following the season-ending injury to Dameane Douglas. Last week, Shelton averaged 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.
Loyola Marymount does not stand out on either end of the floor. It ranks 144th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 246th in offensive rating.
Defensively, it ranks 175th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 291st in defensive rating.
The Lions are also one of the worst rebounding teams in the country. They are 341st in rebounds per game and 196th in offensive rebounds allowed.
For the Zags, it starts with their twin towers in the middle, Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren. Timme is averaging 18.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per outing and is coming off of a 23-point performance against San Francisco. He is fifth nationally in field goal percentage and is shooting 63.4% from the field.
Holmgren is averaging 13.6 points and 8.5 rebounds a night. He also ranks eighth nationally in 2-point percentage and seventh nationally in blocks.
Led by Timme and Holmgren, Gonzaga leads the nation in defensive rebounds, is third in rebounds per game and is fifth in rebound margin.
Forward Julian Strawther is averaging 12.6 points and 5.9 rebounds, and is shooting 67.6% from inside the arc.
Guard Rasir Bolton is averaging 10.2 points and shoots 43.6% from deep. The senior will be playing in his 100th game against LMU.
Point guard Andrew Nembhard controls the show and averages 9.7 points, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals per night.
Gonzaga is the nation’s highest scoring team and averages 90.2 points per game. The Zags rank second in offensive rating and adjusted offensive efficiency.
At the defensive end, the Bulldogs are 17th in defensive rating and adjusted defensive efficiency.
Loyola Marymount vs. Gonzaga Betting Pick
A Loyola Marymount upset would not only shock the nation, but also end a string of win streaks for Gonzaga. In addition to its dominance over Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga has won 26 straight games against WCC opponents and 63 straight games at The Kennel.
One streak that did end last game was Gonzaga’s streak of outings with 100 points. In its first three WCC games, Gonzaga scored 100 points in every game and averaged 114 points in those games. San Francisco ranks 20th in adjusted defensive efficiency and Gonzaga still scored 78 points.
Against a significantly worse LMU defense, I expect Gonzaga to approach 100 again. Loyola Marymount does not have a starter over 6-foot-6 and its tallest player is 6-foot-9.
The Lions rank 312th in 2-point field goal percentage defense. It will not have an answer for Timme and Holmgren inside or Strawter and Anton Watson driving.
Given the disparity in rebounding in this matchup, Gonzaga should dominate on the offensive glass and put back its misses if it has an off shooting night.
I would consider Gonzaga’s team total here. Those lines are not available yet, but I expect it to be around 95, which Gonzaga has hit in four of the last six games.
I like the full game total as well. Gonzaga’s WCC games have averaged 183 points and the total is sitting at 158, offering great value.
Given the fast pace Gonzaga plays at, Loyola Marymount should do enough to contribute to the over. The over has hit in three of Loyola Marymount’s last five games and four out of Gonzaga’s last five games.
Pick: Over 158 (Play to 161)