Texas vs Gonzaga Odds, Predictions, Betting Picks: What Our Staff is Targeting in Wednesday’s Top-15 Clash
Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Drew Timme (Gonzaga)
No. 11 Texas vs No. 2 Gonzaga
No. 2 Gonzaga just barely escaped Michigan State on an aircraft carrier last week.
This week, Mark Few’s bunch travels to Austin, Texas to take on Chris Beard’s No. 11 Longhorns.
The Bulldogs also have No. 4 Kentucky on deck, No. 5 Baylor at the start of December and No. 18 Alabama in mid-December as part of a loaded non-conference schedule.
But before they continue along, the Zags are looking to get out of Austin with a win against a very talented Texas team.
How is our staff betting this game? Find out below as we have five top picks for Wednesday evening’s marquee matchup.
Texas vs Gonzaga Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Our Best Bets for No. 11 Texas vs No. 2 Gonzaga
|Texas ML -104|
|Texas 1H -0.5|
|Gonzaga ML +104|
Texas ML -104
The win against Michigan State didn’t change my mind about Gonzaga. The Zags are overvalued in the market and this is the perfect opportunity to fade them on the road.
The Bulldogs have clear identity issues they still need to sort through, and now they draw their toughest opponent yet in an aggressive Longhorns defense. Gonzaga should once again struggle with turnovers and allow for plenty of transition opportunities.
Texas is going to have the home crowd behind it, and its main source of offense comes from inside the arc — where Gonzaga is most vulnerable.
Drew Timme can only do so much and I’m not sure Anton Watson/Efton Reid will have any success against Dylan Disu, Christian Bishop and Dillon Mitchell in the paint.
Top-15 teams at home also cover the spread at a 57% rate, equivalent to an 11% ROI. Also, KenPom’s projected line for this game is Texas -4.
The only area Gonzaga has the edge is with Timme’s offensive prowess — the Texas backcourt is much better. But there’s only so much he can do in a crowded paint because Watson and Reid cannot stretch the floor.
I love the Longhorns to take home the win Wednesday night, and I would back their ML up to -130, or the spread to -3.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
To me, this is the most intriguing game of the young college hoops season to date.
This will be the first marquee matchup to take place at Texas’ new Moody Center, and the Longhorns will have a much-improved home-court advantage in their new building.
Gonzaga has been more tested than Texas thus far after surviving a hard-fought battle in San Diego against Michigan State last Friday.
Meanwhile, Texas had eight days to prepare for this one after winning comfortably over both UTEP and Houston Christian at home last week.
Even though this will be Texas’ first real test of the season, I like the Longhorns’ chances of getting the victory at home.
Vanderbilt transfer forward Dylan Disu looks far healthier than he did last year after recovering from injury, and his length will be critical in guarding Drew Timme and the rest of the Zags’ interior players.
Freshman phenom Dillon Mitchell also gives Texas a dynamic athletic body off the bench and Christian Bishop is another veteran big equipped to bang against Timme and Co.
Additionally, Texas should have much more continuity offensively than it did a year ago. Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr are back for their second season playing under Chris Beard, and both can create their own shot, which is important against a sound Zags defense.
I expect the new Moody Center to be rocking for this one, which will make a big difference in what will likely be a tight one throughout.
Texas is as good defensively as any team in the country, and I expect the Horns to be able to get just enough stops to hold off Gonzaga at home.
Texas 1H -0.5
Gonzaga has stacked its early non-conference schedule with potential title contenders for a few years now.
Last season, the Bulldogs handed the Longhorns a 86-74 loss in Chris Beard’s second game with the program.
But this Gonzaga team portrayed many issues in its first true test against Michigan State.
First off, the program turned the ball over 22 times. That’s a major concern matching up against a feisty Longhorns defense. Last season, Texas forced turnovers at the 15th-highest rate in the country, and through two games, that appears to be the same this year.
The Bulldogs haven’t figured out how to replace Chet Holmgren. Granted its never easy to replace a top-three NBA draft pick, but his shot-blocking ability was sorely missed against Michigan State.
Mady Sissoko dominated the paint and forced both of Gonzaga’s centers into early foul trouble.
Gonzaga started slow against Michigan State and trailed by seven at halftime. Despite trailing much of the second half, the Bulldogs were able to rally to squeak out the two-point victory.
That won’t be easy to do on the road in front of a rowdy Longhorn crowd.
I’m backing Texas’ improved roster to avenge last season’s 12-point loss. I expect the Longhorns to come out of the gates hot in this matchup.
Pick: Texas 1H -0.5 (Play to -1)
Gonzaga ML +104
By D.J. James
Gonzaga squeaked out a close one against Michigan State on an aircraft carrier Friday night.
The Longhorns have yet to play anyone of substance (sorry, UTEP). Texas comes into this game ranked first in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (per KenPom), while the Zags are 14th, but first in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.
Texas has rebounded well on the offensive end thus far, even though the competition has not been fierce. The Longhorns rank 29th in offensive rebounding percentage, but 232nd in allowed offensive rebounding percentage.
This is one area Gonzaga will destroy them in as its hauling in 33.3% of offensive boards. Drew Timme is one player to watch as the primary Bulldog offensive rebounder. Julian Strawther is not too bad, either.
The best deterrents to these two are Dylan Disu and Timmy Allen. Dillon Mitchell is solid off the bench, but since there is a substantial height difference between Strawther, Timme and Efton Reid and the Longhorns, the Zags will have multiple put-back opportunities.
Another area of exploitation for Gonzaga is 3-point efficiency. Both of these teams primarily focus on getting the ball inside. Each team has attributed at least 66% of their scoring this season to 2-pointers.
Texas, however, is shooting only around 19% from deep, while Gonzaga is shooting around 29%. Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith both shot over 40% from outside last season. They should be crucial from downtown in this game because Texas is allowing weak opponents to shoot plenty of 3-pointers.
Take Gonzaga at +104 on the moneyline. The Zags should be small favorites with a solid win under their belt on a neutral court. Take them to -115 or -1 (-110).
By Doug Ziefel
Thankfully for the Zags, this game won’t be played on an aircraft carrier.
With the conditions back in order, we should see the typical Gonzaga offensive output. Yes, the Longhorns are a tremendous defensive team, as they are No. 1 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. However, the Zags are the toughest team to match up with in the country.
You start with Drew Timme down low — who requires attention — but he can kick out to Rasir Bolton and Julian Strawther, who can hurt the Longhorns from behind the arc.
If there’s one area the Longhorns have been susceptible in, its from long range.
Texas is no defensive picnic on the other end of the court, though. It has a very different style of offense, as Marcus Carr, Tyrese Hunter and Sir’Jabari Rice can all penetrate and dish to Timmy Allen inside.
Texas has been deadly inside the arc thus far thanks to its four scoring options. The Longhorns are shooting 79.6% on close 2s and 48% on farther 2s.
The Zags have been softer in the paint this year without a true shot blocker, which is shown in their rank of 149th in 2-point percentage allowed.
The last thing to factor in is the tempo both of these teams will play at. The Zags like to push the pace and breakout whenever possible, but they are also great at creating looks early in the shot clock to maximize scoring chances.
Texas will have to play up to speed if it wants to hang around, and it may be able to with its trio of guards.