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Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide

Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide article feature image
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Pictured: Drew Timme #2 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by Ryan Brennecke/University of Montana/Getty Images)

  • Santa Clara hosts Gonzaga in an intriguing West Coast Conference battle.
  • This has all the making of an exciting game, but rather than picking a side, our analyst is targeting the total.
  • D.J. James digs into the odds and offers up a betting prediction below.

Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara Odds

Saturday, Jan. 7
10 p.m. ET
Root Sports
Gonzaga Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-7.5
-118
157.5
-110o / -110u
-345
Santa Clara Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+7.5
-104
157.5
-110o / -110u
+270
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Santa Clara Broncos versus the Gonzaga Bulldogs is the best West Coast Conference matchup to date.

San Francisco almost beat Gonzaga on Thursday night, but Rasir Bolton took over the game late for the Bulldogs.

Santa Clara has notched conference wins over Pepperdine and San Francisco and barely lost to Saint Mary’s.

This game should be exciting because two prolific offenses are going head-to-head. The Broncos can get to the free-throw line and can make it rain 3-point range, while Gonzaga can back teams down in the post or kick it out for a 3, where it’s also efficient.

Each team has had some struggles on the defensive end, and both play at some of the quickest tempos in college basketball.

There should be plenty of points to go around, so the over should be in play from the opening tip-off.


Gonzaga Bulldogs

Drew Timme might have had the worst game in his Gonzaga career on Thursday, and the Bulldogs still pulled out a noteworthy road win in WCC play. He only shot 3-for-16 from the field, so the Dons did a great job of limiting the Zags’ best player.

It almost worked, too.

Timme has shot 64.1% on 2s this season. The game against San Francisco will be an anomaly and he should bounce back against the Broncos. Santa Clara is allowing opponents to shoot around 48% on 2s, which is not horrible, but Gonzaga shoots 57.2% as a unit.

The Bulldogs have fared well against the third-toughest schedule, and Timme is not the only option on the roster.

Julian Strawther, Hunter Sallis and Anton Watson are all shooting above 51% inside the arc, so the Zags can distribute internally. Gonzaga produces 56.5% of its points on 2s.

Alternatively, the Bulldogs shoot 37.2% from deep. Santa Clara is even worse at guarding 3s — opponents are shooting over 35%. Strawther, Bolton and Malachi Smith are the typical sharp-shooters, so they should have a big game from outside.

Photo by CBB Analytics
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One concern for the over is how well Santa Clara can crash the glass on defense. The Broncos rank 26th at limiting opponents to 23.8% on the offensive glass.

Gonzaga ranks 172nd in offensive rebounding percentage.

On the other side, Santa Clara ranks 66th in offensive rebounding, but Gonzaga ranks 48th. Second chances will not come often on offense.

Now, Gonzaga also has a porous defense at times. Opponents are shooting 33% from deep and 51.8% on 2-pointers. Santa Clara is shooting 36.1% from 3, but does struggle inside the arc (48.3%).

Most of Broncos’ offense, however, comes from beyond the arc. They get 33% of their scoring from deep and are shooting 36.1% as a unit.

Carlos Stewart and Brandin Podziemski are the usual suspects to look out for in this matchup. They are both shooting over 40% from outside — and they shoot 3s often.

With how poor Gonzaga defends the perimeter, these two should be open for the majority of the game.

Otherwise, the Broncos get points from drawing fouls. They don’t foul much on defense, but Stewart, Podziemski and Keshawn Justice all have at least 40 free-throw attempts.

Gonzaga sometimes has trouble with sending opponents to the line (95th in free-throw attempt percentage). This should give the Broncos plenty of chances to score with the clock stopped.

Photo by CBB Analytics

Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara Betting Pick

These teams both have options on offense. They are dynamic and have strengths where the other has weaknesses. Pair that with two top-65 Adjusted Tempos (KenPom), and this should be an incredibly fast-paced game.

Timme and the Zags will score with ease. Podziemski and Stewart should get open looks from deep. The Zags could give the Broncos free-throw opportunities, too.

Take the over at 157.5 and play it to 158.5. This should slowly creep up throughout the day Saturday.

Pick: Over 157.5 (Play to 158.5)

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