Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech Betting Guide: Nation’s Top Offense, Defense Meet in NCAA Tournament
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura, Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver
#1 Gonzaga vs. #3 Texas Tech, NCAA Tournament Betting Odds
- Spread: Gonzaga -4
- Over/Under: 137.5
- Date: Saturday, March 30
- Time: 6:09 p.m. ET
- TV: TBS
- Location: Anaheim, Calif.
>> All odds as of Friday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.
Does defense win championships? Or does good offense trump it? That’s the crux of Saturday night’s Elite Eight matchup between Gonzaga and Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders boast the country’s highest-rated defense and are fresh off a dominating performance against Michigan. The Zags have the No. 1 offense, and showed some defensive prowess of their own against Florida State.
Who wins out in the Elite Eight? Our analysts dive in.
Market Report for Gonzaga-Texas Tech
The line (-4) has remained unchanged as of Friday night. Gonzaga has received about 60% of the bets, but the money is about even.
Trends to Know
Texas Tech held Michigan to 44 points — the lowest ever for a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Since 2005, teams coming off a dominant defensive performance (fewer than 60 points) have gone 305-260-12 (54%) ATS in the NCAA Tournament. If the team is an underdog in the next game, like the Red Raiders, they have gone 167-122-6 (58%) ATS. — John Ewing
Elite Offense vs. Elite Defense
Texas Tech put on a clinic defensively against Michigan in the Sweet 16, yielding a mere 0.71 points per possession. On the flip side, don’t let the Bulldogs’ 14-point win over Florida State fool you, as they produced 0.99 points per possession — well below their season average — against a similarly styled defense.
Although Mark Few’s group boasts the highest-rated offense in the country, its interior-driven attack will be in for a test against that top-rated Red Raiders defense. They are giving up 49th-lowest 2-point scoring rate (45.3%), led by their rim-protecting duo in Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase.
Expect Texas Tech’s ball pressure to give Gonzaga’s guards fits while trying to feed the post, as it forced Michigan into an uncharacteristically high 14 turnovers on Thursday. Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke and even Killian Tillie are skilled around the rim, but Chris Beard’s squad causes an abundance of havoc, as well as Owens and Odiase’s length and physicality bothering opposing bigs.
Gonzaga can also hit from deep, ranking 66th nationally in 3-point percentage, but Tech’s swarming perimeter defense is 11th in the same category defensively (29.4%). — Eli Hershkovich
Can Texas Tech Convert from Deep?
The key to Gonzaga’s Sweet 16 win over Florida State was its superb 3-point defense. The Bulldogs held the Seminoles to 15% (3-of-20) from beyond the arc. Gonzaga ranks 19th-best overall at limiting the opponents 3P efficiency, so Texas Tech must find a way to connect from deep.
Sophomore guard Davide Moretti (11.6 ppg, 46.2% 3P) was 0-of-7 from 3P in the first two tournament games but regained his long-range touch against Michigan. He was 3-of-4 from 3P vs. the Wolverines, which was key for the Red Raiders, who only shot 6-of-19 as a team.
Star Jarrett Culver is the guy Gonzaga will struggle against. The 6-foot-5 guard has averaged 24.8 ppg over his past five games, which includes two games of double-digit rebounds. It is unlikely Gonzaga head coach Mark Few will put star Rui Hachimura on Culver, meaning Texas Tech should have an offensive advantage on every possession.
Look for the Red Raiders to attack Gonzaga big man Brandon Clarke with senior big men Owens and Odiase. If both can stay out of foul trouble, they provide valuable offensive spacing for shooters like Moretti, Culver and senior guard Matt Mooney (10.9 ppg, 38.9% 3P). — Mike Randle
Is the Total Too Low?
I think this total is too short based on what we saw on Thursday night — a little recency bias. Texas Tech played in a game where many didn’t know if either team would get to 40 for a long stretch, while the Zags played pretty slow in the second half in a game that easily went under.
But let’s not forget that this Zags team is the highest-scoring team in the country at more than 88 points per game, and they love to push the tempo. And it’s not like Texas Tech has an incompetent offense. Before its game against Michigan, the Red Raiders averaged just shy of 80 per game over their previous 10 games.
I think you will see Gonzaga push it in transition as much as possible to avoid having to face the elite Texas Tech half court defense.
This is the lowest total of the year for Gonzaga — even lower than the WCC tourney final against St. Mary’s, which was 139. And the Gaels are true snails, ranking 348th in the country in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom.
Texas Tech doesn’t play fast, but it isn’t molasses at 235 in that same category. I make this 140, which means I will definitely be hitting the over. — Stuckey
Stuckey’s Pick: Over 137
Barkley: Why I’m Betting Gonzaga
Texas Tech’s run has been really remarkable to watch in this tournament so far, but Gonzaga ain’t Michigan. The Wolverines went 1-for-19 from 3, and weren’t a very good 3-point shooting team coming into the game. Texas Tech’s defense forced them into taking outside shots, and Michigan hit basically none of them.
Not only is Gonzaga so much more prolific offensively, but it has four guys who shoot at least 36%. The balance this offers Gonzaga is one that Michigan could never present (and neither could Buffalo, which struggles from outside), and that’s why (unsurprisingly) this will be so much of a bigger test.
The biggest thing for me, though, is that Gonzaga’s ML in the lookahead in one market was -290, and now is hovering at about -180, seemingly just because of that Michigan game. I would argue that the Buffalo and Michigan wins, while impressive, are not at all predictive of how Texas Tech will play in THIS game, against THIS opponent, because the opponents are so different.
The Red Raiders are being given a lot of credit, some of it deserving, but to me Gonzaga is still clearly the better team here and has ways to attack. I like Gonzaga at -4. — Ken Barkley
Ken’s Pick: Gonzaga -4
Our Projected Odds: Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech
These ratings were built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.
- Spread: Gonzaga -4.5
- Over/Under: 139
- Score: Gonzaga 72 | Texas Tech 67.5
- Win Probability: Gonzaga 66% | Texas Tech 34%
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.