Thursday college basketball odds: No. 7 Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount
Could Gonzaga steal the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament out West? It’s very possible if the Zags run the table the rest of the season and the Zags opened as 16-point favorites on Thursday at Loyola Marymount. Check our current lines.
The Zags enter off a 66-52 home win over San Francisco. The Bulldogs shot 58 percent in the first half, built a 24 point lead at one point, but were only 8 of 27 in the second half. Kelly Olynyk scored 13 points for Gonzaga, which hasn’t lost at home to San Francisco since the 1988-89 season. Elias Harris had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Gonzaga (19-2, 6-0 West Coast Conference) and Kevin Pangos added 11 points. Gonzaga made 45 percent of its shots and was 8 of 20 from 3-point range.
Loyola Marymount might be the worst team in the WCC. The Lions lost last time out 60-57 at home to Pepperdine. Anthony Ireland and Ayodeji Egbeymi each scored 14 points to lead Loyola Marymount. Loyola Marymount (8-12, 1-6) had a 29-22 lead with 5:34 left in the first half, but Pepperdine went on a 15-4 run in the closing moments for a 37-33 lead at the half. Loyola Marymount tied it at 43 with 14:41 left in the game, then went cold, missing seven shots in a row. But it got back in the game, using a press to fuel a 9-0 run. It got as close as 59-57, but a Pepperdine free throw with 2:21 remaining proved to be the final point of the game.
The Lions are 4-4 in their last eight games against ranked opponents, earning a win against their fifth top-25 opponent of the 2011-12 season at #16 Saint Mary’s on Feb. 15 to finish last season 3-2 against ranked teams. The five ranked opponents were the most since the 2008-09 season when they played five. This is the first of 2012-13, with the second match-up against the Zags coming just nine days later. At No. 7 in both the AP Poll and Coaches’ Poll, the Bulldogs are the highest ranked team to play in Gersten Pavilion since the Zags came to Los Angeles ranked fifth on Feb. 18, 2006. This will be the fourth top-10 team to visit Gersten since that game. Notre Dame was No. 9 on Nov. 21, 2008 (L, 65-54) in Head Coach Max Good’s first game, and the Zags were ranked No. 9 on Feb. 18, 2010, a 74-66 win for the Lions, their last against Gonzaga.
WagerWeb.com trends: Under is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings. Home team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings. Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Loyola Marymount.