Thursday college basketball odds: Pepperdine at No. 6 Gonzaga
Gonzaga continues its push for the school’s first top seed ever in the NCAA Tournament, and the Zags shouldn’t have trouble Thursday night in WCC action against Pepperdine.
Gonzaga reached its highest ranking since December, 2008, Monday when the Bulldogs moved up one spot to sixth in both the Associated Press and USA Today rankings. Gonzaga was ranked fourth in both polls Dec. 8, 2008, the Zags 6-0 at that point of the season. The Bulldogs downed Washington State in their next outing, then suffered their first loss to Arizona on their way to a 28-6 season that ended with a NCAA Sweet 16 loss to North Carolina.
The Zags enter off a 65-63 close call at San Diego on Saturday. David Stockton hit a runner in the lane with 55.9 seconds left after Kelly Olynyk scored on consecutive possessions. Elias Harris scored 18 points for Gonzaga (21-2, 8-0 West Coast Conference), while Olynyk had 15 and Gary Bell Jr. 13.
Pepperdine (10-12, 2-7) lost 86-78 to San Francisco on Saturday. Pepperdine had a 42-35 lead at halftime, but could not maintain its edge after that. Lorne Jackson led Pepperdine with 20 points. Stacy Davis had a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Nikolas Skouen had 13 points.
Back on Jan. 3 in Malibu … Pepperdine had a strong effort in its WCC opener but then-No. 10 Gonzaga pulled away down the stretch for a 78-62 win. The Bulldogs were held to a season-low 43.4% by the Waves. Pepperdine led by as many as eight points early in the first half and also held a 36-35 lead with 14 minutes to play. Jackson had 16 points while Jordan Baker scored 15.
Pepperdine is 31-43 all-time against Gonzaga. The Waves won 26 of the first 31 meetings, but the Bulldogs have won 38 of the last 43, including 23 consecutive. Pepperdine’s last win over Gonzaga was in 2002 at home. The Waves have lost 14 straight in Spokane (last winning there in 1998). The Bulldogs are ranked #6 by both the Associated Press and the USA Today coaches poll.
WagerWeb.com trends: Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Gonzaga. Favorite is 18-5-3 ATS in the last 26 meetings. Over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings. Waves are 5-18-3 ATS in the last 26 meetings. Road team is 4-1-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings. Waves are 2-9-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings in Gonzaga.