Upcoming Match-ups

Gonzaga Opens as 4-Point Favorite at BYU in Toughest Remaining WCC Game

BYU Cougars
No. 2 Gonzaga squares off with No. 23 BYU on Saturday, February 22 at the Mariott Center. Photo by Brigham Young University (Wiki Commons).
  • No. 2 Gonzaga is a 4-point favorite at No. 23 BYU on Saturday (Feb. 22, 10 pm ET)
  • The Zags are 26-1 and have won 39 straight regular season WCC road games
  • Read below for our betting preview and prediction

No. 2 Gonzaga (27-1, 10-0 away) puts its 19-game winning streak on the line Saturday (Feb. 22, 10 pm ET) when it travels to BYU to face the No. 23 Cougars (22-7, 13-1 home).

The Bulldogs haven’t lost a regular season WCC game since January 18th, 2018 and opened as a 4-point road favorite in what should be the last major hurdle between them and an undefeated conference campaign.

No. 2 Gonzaga vs No. 23 BYU Odds

Team Spread Total
Gonzaga Bulldogs -4 (-110) Over 161 (-105)
BYU Cougars +4 (-110) Under 161 (-115)

Odds taken Feb. 21st.

BYU, meanwhile, is in the midst of a 7-game winning streak and has moved inside the AP Top 25 rankings for the first time in nine years.

These two teams met earlier this season in a one-sided affair on Gonzaga’s home floor.

Bulldogs Tamed Cougars in First Meeting

Back in mid-January, Gonzaga blew out BYU 92-69, easily covering as 13-point favorites. The 92 points were the second most the Cougars have allowed all season and it came against a Bulldogs squad who played without leading scorer Filip Petrusev in the second half due to an ankle injury.

After entering halftime with a 7-point lead, Gonzaga came out scorching hot in the second half, knocking down 74% of their field goal attempts, en route to a 58-point half. Five Bulldogs hit double-figures, including Killian Tillie, who led the team with 22 points and 10 boards.

The loss was one of just six times all season that BYU failed to reach the 70-point mark, and a big reason why was their outside shooting. The Cougars made just 6-of-20 three-point attempts, which is well below their nation leading 42.6% average from beyond the arc.

BYU was missing leading scorer and rebounder Yoeli Childs due to a finger injury and his absence was clearly felt. Gonzaga dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Cougars 37-21 overall and 9-1 at the offensive end.

Gonzaga’s Offense Cannot Be Contained

The Bulldogs offense is lethal and the main reason why they’re priced so short in the National Championship odds. They rank first in the nation in points per game and lead the West Coast Conference in field goal percentage, total rebounding and steals, and rank second in assists and 3-point field goal percentage.

They’re the only team in the country with seven players who average double-digit points per game and they’ve been equally as dominant on the road as they have been at home.

Gonzaga enters play Saturday with a perfect 10-0 record away from home this season, with average point differential of +18.4 in games outside of Spokane, WA.

Roll With the Zags on the Road

Not only are the Bulldogs undefeated on the road this season, they’ve won 39 straight regular season WCC road games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest conference road-winning streak over the last 30 years. They’re 6-4 ATS away from home, a record that includes multiple double-digit covers.

On paper, BYU has an offense that could keep pace with Gonzaga if they’re knocking down their outside shots, but ultimately the Zags should overwhelm the Cougars. The Bulldogs have too much scoring depth and possess a huge advantage down low. No BYU rotation player stands above 6’9″, while Gonzaga features multiple players that are 6’10” or taller. This mismatch should lead to a decisive rebounding advantage once again and plenty of easy looks for the Bulldogs.

Pick: Bulldogs -4 (-110)

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