Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Arizona Wildcats Picks 12/14/19
Gonzaga Bulldogs (10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Arizona Wildcats (10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS)
When: Saturday, December 14, at 10 p.m.
Where: McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz.
Point Spread: GONZ +3/ARIZ -3 (GTBets - Deposit $200 and get $200 FREE!)
Total: O/U 152
Last Time Out:
Gonzaga defeated Washington 83-76; Arizona crushed Nebraska-Omaha 99-49.
Scouting the Bulldogs:
Filip Petrusev has been a great predictor of the Bulldogs’ success in a contest, as when he’s shot less than 50 percent, Gonzaga has found itself in a tight ball game, losing once and winning two others by a combined eight points. When he shoots over 50 percent, which he has done six times this season, the closest a Gonzaga opponent has come is 28 points. So yeah, his numbers are pretty significant, and he’s got plenty of help from Killian Tillie and Corey Kispert, both of whom are versatile enough to score from anywhere on the court. This is a dangerous offensive squad that puts up big numbers, which is evident from the fact that they’ve hit 80 points or more on six occasions.
Scouting the Wildcats:
The youth movement is very much alive and well in Tucson, as a pair of freshmen in Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion have rebuilt the Wildcats into a national contender. Mannion is still sometimes prone to freshman mistakes, as he averages nearly 2.5 turnovers per game, but he’s got an assist-to-turnover ratio that’s close to 3 to 1, making up for those occasional lapses. Along with classmate Josh Green, the three Wildcat freshmen are responsible for nearly half of Arizona’s scoring, and they’re the only ones on the roster who average double figures this season. This team is built on pure talent, with coach Sean Miller trying to provide enough correction to keep the Wildcats from beating themselves. So far, that effort has been successful, as only Baylor has managed to best the Wildcats.
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Tempo. In a game between two fast teams, what usually happens is one of two possible outcomes: either the teams will produce a lot of points, or they’re going to produce a lot of mistakes. As both of these squads have pretty potent offenses, that suggests that this game is going to be more of an offensive-minded match, making the “Over” a strong play for this contest.
Gonzaga will Cover if:
The Bulldogs can force the Wildcats into bad shots. In the one game that Arizona lost, Baylor won by holding the Wildcats to 11 percent from behind the arc. In the process, the Bears also grabbed 40 rebounds to Arizona’s 33, underscoring another key thing about 3-point shooting: when it’s off, a team that rebounds well can take full advantage. Gonzaga rebounds it well and can grab rebounds with the best of them. If the Bulldogs can pound away, they’ll have this one won.
Arizona will Cover if:
The Wildcats can keep the Bulldogs off the glass. Gonzaga is a great rebounding team, and by Sean Miller’s own admission, Arizona is not. So why is this on here? Because Miller’s underselling the situation a bit. The fact is, Arizona can win a rebounding battle against a great team because the Wildcats have done it against Illinois, who might be the best rebounding team in the nation. Arizona won that battle because tough defense forced the Illini to toss up shots that Arizona was able to grab the rebound on.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:
The bet I like best here is the over. I don’t think either of these defenses can stop each other, and this easily feels like a game that could reach the 80s for both sides. If your goal is simply to make money without worrying about a rooting interest on the court, that’s where I’d recommend putting your cash for this contest.
However, if you simply need to have someone to root for in this late-night contest, I’d recommend taking Arizona. The Wildcats are tough to beat at home when the McKale Center is fired up, and it’s going to be pumped for a game like this one. Plus, I think Miller is underselling his team’s abilities on the glass. Yes, Gonzaga is great on the boards, and if Arizona doesn’t rebound well, the Bulldogs can pound away all day. But Illinois is even better on the boards than Gonzaga, and the Wildcats showed no issues whatsoever with the Illini when they came to Tucson.
If you can outrebound Illinois, you can outrebound Gonzaga, and if you can outrebound Gonzaga, then you can beat Gonzaga. Arizona can beat Gonzaga, and I’m taking the Wildcats. Where are you wagering on college hoops this season? Does your sportsbook offer you discount odds? NO! They don’t! Dump them TODAY and start taking advantage of the HUGE savings you get when you bet on games at -105 odds instead of -110! Find this more economical way of betting at 5Dimes!