BYU Cougars vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs - 12/27/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Gonzaga Bulldogs (11-1) at BYU Cougars (10-3)
College Basketball: Saturday, December 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm (Marriott Center)
The Line: BYU Cougars +4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2
The Gonzaga Bulldogs will travel to Marriott Center to face the BYU Cougars this Saturday night.
The 8th ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs improved to 11-1 on the season after defeating the Cal Poly Mustangs 63-50 this past Saturday. Gonzaga struggled a bit offensively, however, their half-court defensive was strong as they held the Mustangs to 39.6% shooting from the field and 20.0% (3-15 3PM-A) from long range. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was big man Przemek Karnowski who had 16 points and 8 rebounds. Mark Few and Gonzaga have one of the best well-rounded teams in the country. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 8th in the RPI standings, have the 25th ranked SOS, and are 2-1 vs. opponents ranked in the top-25 of the RPI standings with their only loss coming against the 3rd ranked Arizona Wildcats. On the season, Gonzaga have been led by Kyle Wiltjer (16.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg), Kevin Pangos (10.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.4 spg), Bryon Wesley (11.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg), and Przemek Karnowski (10.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg). Offensively, the Bulldogs are averaging 83.7 ppg (ranked 11th) on 53.6% shooting (ranked 2nd). Gonzaga has a rebound margin of 10.6 which ranks 8th in the country. Defensively, the Bulldogs are holding their opponents to 60.0 ppg (ranked 50th) on 38.6% shooting (ranked 53rd).
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The BYU Cougars defeated the UMass Minutemen 77-71 in overtime this past Tuesday to improve to 10-3 on the season. BYU struggled from the three-point range as they shot only 23.8% (5-21 3PM-A) but was 81.3% (26-32) from the free-throw line to help seal the victory. Leading the way for the Cougars was Anson Winder who had 25 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. BYU is ranked 46th in the RPI Standings and has played the 45th ranked SOS. On the season, the Cougars have been led by Tyler Haws (22.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.5 apg), Anson Winder (14.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg), and Kyle Collinsworth (13.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 5.3 apg). BYU is a dynamic offensive team as they are currently averaging 88.0 ppg (ranked 1st) on 47.1% shooting (ranked 56th). The Cougars like to beat you from behind the arc as they are currently averaging 9.2 three-pointers per game (ranked 14th). BYU does a nice job on the boards as they average 40.23 rpg as a team (ranked 29th). Defensively, the Cougars allowed their opponent to score an average of 74.2 ppg (ranked 314th) on 42.9% shooting (ranked 197th).
The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. West Coast Conference and 19-5-2 ATS in their last 26 games following a ATS loss. The Cougars are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games overall and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
This will be one of the more exciting games outside of the Kentucky/Louisville match-up this Saturday. BYU could easily be undefeated at this point as all three of their losses have come against quality opponents and were close games (two OT loses). This is arguably one of the best Gonzaga squads that have been under Mark Few, however I see BYU coming out strong in this contest and will at worst lose a close game. Take BYU and the points.