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BYU vs Gonzaga Picks and Odds (Jan. 13)

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Jan 13, 2022 · 6:00 AM PST

Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme wait for play to resume
Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren (34) and forward Drew Timme (2) stand on the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Alabama, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Spokane, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
  • Gonzaga is a 13.5-point favorite over BYU on Thursday (Jan. 13th) at 11 pm ET in WCC play
  • The Bulldogs rank first in the nation in field goal percentage, and second in points per game
  • Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction

After yet another blowout victory in its conference opener, #2 Gonzaga has now won 22 straight West Coast Conference games. The Bulldogs last loss in conference play came all the way back in February of 2020, against BYU.

As luck would have it, the Cougars visit the Zags on Thursday (January 13th), looking to pull off another upset.

BYU vs #2 Gonzaga Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
BYU Cougars OFF +13.5 (-110) O 153 (-110)
Gonzaga Bulldogs OFF -13.5 (-110) U 153 (-110)

Odds as of Jan. 12th at FanDuel.

Oddsmakers however, have other ideas. Gonzaga opened as a 13.5-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 153. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 pm ET at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington, with ESPN2 providing the broadcast coverage.

Gonzaga Bulldogs Betting Analysis

The Bulldogs’ latest win, a 117-83 thrashing of Pepperdine, extended their winning streak to five. It also prolonged their home winning streak to 60 games, which is by far the longest run in the nation.

Gonzaga (12-2, 1-0 WCC) had its first three scheduled conference games postponed due to COVID, but showed little rust on offense. They shot 54.2% from the field, and 40% from thee. They outscored the Waves 68-32 in the paint, and won the rebounding battle by 15. It was their 25th straight victory in a conference opener, and their 42nd in a row over Pepperdine.

Anton Watson led the offense with 19, while Drew Timme and projected lottery pick Chet Holmgren added 18 each. The Bulldogs enter play on Thursday boasting the nation’s highest field goal percentage (52.3%), while averaging 87.9 points per game, the second highest mark in college hoops.

They boast an average score margin of +23.9, and also rank top-six in both assists and total rebounding. Defensively, they’re holding opponents to an average of 64 points per game, while only nine programs yield a lower effective field goal percentage.

BYU Cougars Betting Analysis

The Cougars (14-3, 2-0 WCC) enter play on a winning streak of their own. They’ve reeled off four straight victories, the most recent one coming against Saint Mary’s in a 52-43 slugfest.

Neither team shot above 39% from the field, while both finished below 20% from beyond the arc. BYU lost the rebounding and assist battle, but saved themselves by committing six fewer turnovers.

Te’Jon Lucas led the offense with 10 points, and was the only Cougar in double-figures. Despite its impressive record, BYU has struggled shooting the ball this season. They’re averaging only 71.9 points per game, and their 49.8% effective shooting percentage ranks 178th in the nation.

Defense is their calling card, as if anyone needed proof after their latest outing. They surrender only 62.5 points per game, while ranking ninth in opponent effective field goal percentage, and seventh in defensive rebounding.

BYU vs Gonzaga Pick

The Cougars would prefer to grind this game down to a halt, but that doesn’t work against the Bulldogs. Gonzaga is so efficient, and plays so fast, that they force their opponents into shootouts.

The Bulldogs rank 11th in adjusted tempo per KenPom, and fourth in average possession length. If BYU wants to stay competitive in this game they’re going to have to put up a big number, because we know Gonzaga will.

Each of the past two Bulldogs games have gone over the total, as have three of their past four overall, and three of their past five versus top-30 opposition.

The under has hit in back-to-back Cougars games, but prior to that their contests exceeded the total in six of seven outings.

Each of the past two meetings between these two rivals have produced at least 153 points, and I’m betting on this game being another high-scoring affair as well.

Pick: Over 153 (-110)

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