Texas-Arlington Mavericks vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Pick 11/19/19
Texas-Arlington Mavericks (2-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS)
When: Tuesday, November 19, 9 p.m. EST
Where: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Wash.
Point Spread: UTA +21.5 / GONZ -21.5 (WagerWeb)
Total: O/U 143.5
Last Time Out:
Texas-Arlington lost 67-47 to Oregon; Gonzaga beat Texas A&M 79-49.
Scouting the Mavericks:
Texas-Arlington isn’t ducking anyone to open this season. The Mavericks have already challenged Nevada and Oregon, and they actually made a credible showing against the Wolf Pack, taking a seven-point loss in Reno. But now they face their toughest test yet as they make the trek north from Oregon to Washington and do battle with Gonzaga. Whether the Mavericks can make a game of it depends on whether the jump shots that they didn’t have in Eugene made the trip to Spokane.
Against the Ducks, UTA shot 23.4 percent from the floor, the worst shooting percentage in school history. What makes that even more jarring is that UTA is usually pretty good at shooting the ball, which either says a lot for Oregon’s defense (very possible, as the Ducks’ defense ranks 24th in the nation per KenPom) or suggests that the Mavericks had an off-day at the worst possible time. To have any hope at staying with Gonzaga, the Mavericks need Radshad Davis and Jabari Narcis to get started early in the contest. The two were 1-for-10 at Oregon, which won’t come close to doing the job at Gonzaga.
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Scouting the Bulldogs:
This is not the same athletic Gonzaga squad that Mark Few has had for most of his time in Spokane. No, this Gonzaga squad is a bully that bludgeons teams inside and plays excellent defense. The only one of the Bulldogs’ four opponents to stay within ten rebounds of Gonzaga was Alabama State, and that’s only because the Hornets had the game of their lives from behind the arc, shooting 56 percent from deep — and still lost by 31.
This version of Gonzaga relies on offensive efficiency inside and gets solid contributions from Filip Petrusev and Corey Kispert. They aren’t a particularly deep squad at this point in the season, but they’re also playing down a man as Killian Tillie hasn’t seen action at all after recovering from knee surgery. Incredibly, the Bulldogs haven’t missed him at all, as they’ve beaten every opponent they’ve faced by at least 30 points, including Texas A&M.
The dreaded second leg. It’s about to happen with Texas-Arlington as well, as they faced Oregon less than 72 hours before tip-off at Gonzaga and now have to find another gear. Actually, it’s even worse for the Mavericks because they’ve also had to go out to Nevada and compete, making this their third consecutive game in the Pacific Time Zone. That’s not a fun adjustment for a team to make, and it’s likely to make for a rough evening in a building where it’s notoriously difficult for a visitor to win.
Texas-Arlington will Cover if: The Mavericks can hit a couple of shots early and establish themselves on the arc. Texas-Arlington is better than it showed against Oregon and will likely be a factor in the Sun Belt race, but there’s no way they can compete with Gonzaga unless they get some 3-pointers under their belt and build some early confidence. Gonzaga is a monster that excels at crushing other squads’ hopes early in the contest, and the Mavericks can’t have anything close to the game they had in Eugene to have a chance.
Gonzaga will Cover if:
The Bulldogs continue to dominate on the offensive glass. When you’re the third-most efficient squad in the country, any extra possessions that you get serve as a death sentence for your opponents. If Gonzaga keeps extending possessions and getting easy baskets down low, the score will be whatever the Bulldogs want it to be.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:
Picking against Gonzaga in Spokane is not the way smart gamblers make money during the basketball season. The Bulldogs are very difficult to beat in their building regardless of who the opponent is, and that only magnifies when facing a team that’s on its second game of a two-games-in-three-days swing. The Mavericks are likely to come in tired and lacking in confidence after setting a school record for the worst shooting performance in history, and that’s a recipe for disaster when facing Gonzaga at the Kennel.
I’m not going to overthink this one. Give me Gonzaga to keep up its strong start to the season and cruise to a cover.