Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins Picks 11/23/21

by | Nov 23, 2021 | cbb

Gonzaga Bulldogs (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. UCLA Bruins (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS)

When: Tuesday, November 23, 10 p.m.

Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: GONZ -7/UCLA -7 (BAS - They allow you to bet on sports at -105 odds instead of -110. For those not into math, this saves you TONS of money! You’re essential betting at a discount!)

Moneyline: GONZ -260/UCLA +210

Total: 154.5

Last Time Out:

Gonzaga crushed Central Michigan 107-54; UCLA defeated Bellarmine 75-62.

About the Matchup:

The token opposition bracketing worked to perfection, as Gonzaga and UCLA both dispatched of their foes easily on Monday and now face off in the game that everyone’s been waiting to see: No. 1 vs. No. 2. This game was always on the schedule anyway; Monday’s games were scheduled just to give the appearance that this was actually a real tournament as opposed to a two-game deal.

Now we’ve got the rematch of last year’s national semifinal, and if this game is anything like what we saw back in April, this is going to be a great one. Gonzaga had to replenish its ranks after losing Corey Kispert to the NBA, but the Bulldogs appear to have filled their holes properly and look every bit as good as last season. UCLA appears to have picked up where it left off a season ago and now has itself playing up to the level of its talent. Based off what we’ve seen so far this season, this could be an incredible game.

Scouting the Bulldogs:

It would have been easy for Gonzaga to back off. The reason that it came to Las Vegas to play UCLA anyway and just try to get through the Central Michigan game without anything special happening. The Bulldogs instead unloaded on the Chippewas, shooting 56.8 percent from the floor and outrebounding Central Michigan by an incredible 51-23 margin.

Needless to say, things won’t be so easy in this game, as Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme are likely going to have to work to get open shots against this defense. Unlike Central Michigan, UCLA both prides itself on defense and has the personnel needed to play great defense. The Bulldogs did manage 92 points on UCLA a season ago, but that might be a challenge without a great 3-point shooter on this roster. Julian Strawther was the best, hitting three of his five attempts, but the rest of the Gonzaga lineup was a mere 6-for-27 from deep against the Chippewas. If Gonzaga takes too many threes, UCLA will have the Bulldogs right where they want them.

Scouting the Bruins:

On the good side of the ledger against Bellarmine, UCLA got an extra 22 shots compared to the Knights, which proved to make a huge difference. That’s because UCLA grabbed 15 offensive rebounds in that contest, giving themselves plenty of extra looks. On the other side, that also isn’t going to happen against Gonzaga. UCLA didn’t take great shots against Bellarmine, as Jaime Jaquez and Johnny Juzang shot a combined 8-for-29 against the Knights.

UCLA plays a four-guard lineup and isn’t going to be able to bang with the Bulldogs inside; they’ve got to rely on both quickness and on getting good looks at the hoop. If the Bruins aren’t forcing turnovers as they did against Bellarmine, they’ve got to hit the shots they do get if they want any chance at this one.

Gonzaga will Cover If:

The Bulldogs again own the interior. UCLA will work harder than Central Michigan did to get rebounds, but Gonzaga has a big height advantage inside. The Bulldogs need to make sure they’re limiting UCLA to one shot and getting putbacks inside. If the offensive boards are coming, the Bulldogs will win.

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UCLA will Cover If:

The Bruins can force Gonzaga to shoot mid-range jumpers and 3-pointers. Gonzaga’s biggest weakness is its shooting away from the basket, and if the Bulldogs can’t get the ball inside to their big guys, they’re going to have a hard time taking control of this game.

Dan’s Best Prop Bets

The over is high, but these teams are ready for it. There is a bit of a pause on my part here because both played yesterday, but Gonzaga had such an easy time of it that it should be more than ready to run all over the court. The teams scored over 180 in their last meeting, so the over is promising.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread

UCLA has already proven it’s for real by besting Villanova, but Gonzaga is another matter entirely. I think the Bruins might have used up a bit too much energy in beating Bellarmine to be ready for a full 40 against Gonzaga, who won so easily that it should be more than ready to play its style of basketball.

I think Gonzaga will assert its will on UCLA over the course of this game, and I’ll take the Bulldogs to land the cover. Bet your college hoops picks for FREE this week by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow Sportsbook!