Thursday college basketball odds: No. 2 Gonzaga at BYU
With Indiana’s loss on Tuesday night at Minnesota, Gonzaga could land in the nation’s top spot next Monday for the first time in school history if the Zags can avoid an upset Thursday night at BYU in their final road game of the season.
Gonzaga enters off an 81-50 home win over San Diego on Saturday. Kevin Pangos scored 18 points in the Zags’ 10th straight win. Gonzaga has not yielded more than 63 points during its winning streak. Kelly Olynyk added 14 points and nine rebounds for Gonzaga (27-2, 14-0 West Coast Conference), which clinched at least a tie for the WCC regular-season title it yielded to Saint Mary’s last year. It marks the 12th league title in 13 seasons for the Zags, who have set a team record for regular-season wins.
The Zags appear to be peaking at the right time. They routed Santa Clara by 43 points last Wednesday and won by a 31-point margin Saturday. Gonzaga never had been ranked as high as No. 2 in the country. The Bulldogs have won 10 straight since a last-second defeat at Butler. Their only other loss was to Illinois, and they have the best winning percentage in Division I.
BYU is an NCAA bubble team and a win here could be huge. The Cougars (20-9, 9-5) lost 64-57 at Saint Mary’s last time out. Brandon Davies led the Cougars with 25 points and nine rebounds. Saint Mary’s shot 36 percent from the field but hit 22 of 26 free throws. BYU shot 51 percent but was just 12 of 19 at the foul line.
The Zags are one win or one Saint Mary’s College loss from claiming their 10th outright title. Gonzaga and Pepperdine University went 13-1 in 2002 and the Zags and SMC went 11-3 in 2011. Gonzaga has wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the WCC Tournament by virtue of its season sweep against SMC. The Bulldogs won the first meeting this season with BYU in Spokane 83-63 and leads the all-time series 3-2 in their NCAA Division I history after winning 2-of-3 meetings a year ago. The Zags lost in their inaugural trip to Provo, Utah, 83-73, won at the McCarthey Athletic Center 77-58 and downed the Cougars 77-58 in the WCC Tournament semifinals at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
WagerWeb.com trends: Bulldogs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU win of more than 20 points. Bulldogs are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win. Cougars are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Favorite is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Home team is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings.