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BYU vs Gonzaga – Odds and Picks for WCC Title Game

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Updated Mar 9, 2021 · 7:24 AM PST

Drew Timme Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) lays up the ball against Saint Mary's the during the first half of an NCAA semifinal college basketball game at the West Coast Conference tournament Monday, March 8, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
  • #1 Gonzaga is a 13.5-point favorite over BYU in the West Coast Conference Championship Game on Tuesday (March 9th, 9 pm ET)
  • The Bulldogs cruised to their 22nd straight double-digit win in the semis, while the Cougars needed OT to advance to the final
  • See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction

#1 Gonzaga is just a win away from becoming the first team since 2015 to advance to the NCAA Tournament without a single loss on its resume. The Bulldogs will face BYU in the WCC Championship game on Tuesday (March 9th, 9 pm ET) in Las Vegas, looking to capture their ninth WCC title in the past 11 seasons.

BYU vs #1 Gonzaga Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
BYU Cougars +13.5 (-105) +700 Over 154.0 (-105)
Gonzaga Bulldogs -13.5 (-115) -1400 Under 154.0 (-115)

Odds taken March 9th at FanDuel.

Gonzaga opened up as a 13.5-point favorite over the Cougars, in a game that features a total of 154. These teams met twice in 2020-21, with the Zags emerging as double-digit winners in each matchup. As you’ll see however, blowout wins are nothing new for the Bulldogs, as they’ve now racked up 22 straight wins by at least 10 points.

Bulldogs Beat Up Saint Mary’s

Gonzaga barely broke a sweat in its semifinal showdown with Saint Mary’s, jumping out to an 18-point halftime lead and cruising to a 78-55 victory. Drew Timme led the way with 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Joel Ayayi had 16, and all five starters reached double figures.

The Bulldogs tied a school record with their 29th straight win, dating back to last season, and have now made the conference title game in a nation-best 24 straight seasons.

They shot 53% from the field, and dominated inside, outscoring the Gaels 54-32 in the post. They grabbed 13 more rebounds than their opponent, and held Saint Mary’s to 36.1% from the field, and 2-of-20 from beyond the arc.

Gonzaga has held 13 of its last 18 opponents below 70 points, and given its offensive efficiency (#1 in KenPom’s metrics), the Cougars are unlikely to threaten the Zags unless they put up 80+, a number they barely reached versus Pepperdine in a semifinal game that needed OT.

BYU Barely Survives

The Cougars didn’t have their A game in the semifinal, falling behind by as many as 12 points, and never leading by more than 5. In the end, they escaped with an 82-77 victory, but the extra wear and tear an overtime outing brings doesn’t bode well for the final.

Alex Barcello led the way with 23 points, while Matt Haarms had 18, including a pair of clutch free throws to ice the game.Β  BYU shot 42.6% from the field and dominated on the glass, but 21 turnovers kept the Waves in it. Sloppy play is a sure fire way to get run out of the gym by the Bulldogs, and the Cougars will need to limit the giveaways if they hope to have any chance of hanging with Gonzaga.

Defensively, BYU held Pepperdine well below its season average from the field, and limited them to 18.5% from three. In two games versus the Bulldogs this season however, the Cougars allowed Gonzaga to shoot 50% from the field, and average 84 points per outing.

Zags Roll Again

Not surprisingly, the Bulldogs won both of those contests by double-digits, racking up victories of 17 and 11 points. While BYU had to grind out their semifinal win, Gonzaga was able to give its starters plenty of rest, which should pay dividends given the short turnaround time before the final.

No starter played more than 32 minutes for the Zags against Saint Mary’s, while three of their top five were on the court for less than 30 minutes. Given the added rest, their elite offensive efficiency, and their propensity for double-digit victories, it’s tough to imagine a scenario where the Cougars keep this game close. Also, keep in mind that BYU is already March Madness bound, as a projected 7 seed, so if the game gets out of hand early, there’s really no incentive for them to risk injury to one of their top players.

Pick: Gonzaga Bulldogs -13.5 (-115)

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