Gonzaga vs. Baylor Odds & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Peacock Classic

Gonzaga vs. Baylor Odds & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Peacock Classic article feature image

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Keyonte George (Baylor)

  • No. 14 Gonzaga and No. 6 Baylor go head-to-head in the Peacock Classic from South Dakota.
  • The Bears are coming off of an ugly loss on the road against Marquette.
  • Our staff has three best bets for you for this marquee matchup.

Gonzaga vs. Baylor

Friday, Dec. 2
8 p.m. ET

In one of the best college basketball matchups of the week (at least on paper), No. 14 Gonzaga and No. 6 Baylor get set to play at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Friday evening.

The Bulldogs have been tough to figure out in the early portion of this season, as they've been blown out by both Texas and Purdue, and also notched wins against Kentucky and Michigan State.

Meanwhile, Baylor is looking to bounce back after getting run out of Milwaukee by the Marquette Golden Eagles.

So, how is our staff betting this affair? Dive in below to find out.

Gonzaga vs. Baylor Odds

Gonzaga Odds
-118o / -104u
Baylor Odds
-118o / -104u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

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Our Best Bets for Gonzaga vs. Baylor

Under 164.5
Baylor +2
Over 163.5

Under 164.5

By Cooper Van Tatenhove

Friday night’s top-15 matchup between Gonzaga and Baylor features the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses in Adjusted Efficiency.

As a result, this matchup features one of the largest totals so far this season at 164.5.

Although it will not be for the faint of heart, there is reason to believe that both teams will have more success defensively than the market believes.

So far this season, Gonzaga has turned the ball over at a 19.5% rate, which is 199th nationally. This turnover tendency will be catalyzed by a Baylor defense that creates turnovers at a 24% rate (31st nationally).

With a total that is currently over 160, every possession not resulting in points will be crucial.

Additionally, every possession will be crucial given the lack of second attempts both teams will generate on Friday night.

Gonzaga has not been a great offensive rebounding team so far this season, ranking 162nd in offensive rebounding%. Meanwhile, Baylor is inside the top-100 defensively in the same category.

On the other side, Baylor has been great at creating second-chance opportunities for its offense, ranking 11th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage. Unfortunately for the Bears, Gonzaga is 60th nationally at limiting these extra opportunities.

With a total this high, there is little room for error with either offense. In a game that will see a decent amount of turnovers and few second-chance opportunities, I am comfortable with holding my nose and taking the under in this spot.

Pick: Under 164.5 (Play to 163)

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Baylor +2

By Patrick Strollo

There's no need to rehash the beatdown from Tuesday night (Marquette over Baylor), besides highlighting that it will likely serve as an extremely strong motivation point for Scott Drew's bunch as they make the second stop of their first official road trip.

On paper, the Bears match up quite well with the Bulldogs. In fact, if this game were to be played in Waco, Baylor would likely be close to double-digit favorites.

Both teams feature elite offenses that rank in the top three in terms of Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

Defensively, both teams are sound, but neither is elite.

However, there are two areas where Baylor stands out relative to Gonzaga so far this season: defensive turnover rate and offensive rebound percentage.

Baylor is forcing opposing offenses into turnovers on 24% of plays, which ranks 31st in the nation. Meanwhile, Gonzaga has had trouble protecting the rock this season, ranking just 192nd in offensive turnover percentage.

On the offensive glass, the Bears are one of the best in the nation, ranking 11th in the country and snagging 38.2% of their own misses. Gonzaga is a good rebounding team, but not great. The Zags rank just 61% in defensive rebound percentage, giving up 25% of available boards to the opposing team.

Baylor has the offense to keep up with Gonzaga. However, I like the situational advantages of Baylor’s turnover defense and ability to control the offensive glass to be differentiators in this game.

Last time out it wasn't pretty, but I like Baylor in this bounce back spot after getting absolutely wrecked by an unranked Marquette team.

Look for Baylor’s guards to quickly change the pace after turnovers and for second chances on the offensive side of the ball to be the differentiator.

Over 163.5

By D.J. James

Baylor and Gonzaga come together for the Peacock Classic at The Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the best game of Friday night’s slate.

The Bears are coming off of a brutal 26-point loss to Marquette on Tuesday, while Gonzaga escaped with a win over Xavier on Sunday.

Neither of these teams are playing their best brand of basketball at the moment, but these are still two of the top offenses in the country. Per KenPom, they rank No. 1 and No. 2 in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, so the firework cannons should be ready.

The total is the play in this game. Each team has been inconsistent protecting the ball and defending high-profile offensive weapons.

The Zags and Bears will turn it over a fair amount, and each team should score at will.

With each team averaging around 16 seconds per possession, expect this game to hit the over. Take it from 163.5 (-110), and play it to 165.

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