Washington Vs. Gonzaga Odds, Picks, Predictions (12/9/22)

This isn’t the same Gonzaga team of old, struggling so far into the season with a 6-3 record. It’s been a rocky past couple of games for the Bulldogs, losing outright to Purdue and Baylor while narrowly beating Xavier and Kent State. They get a potential bounce back opportunity against the lowly Washington Huskies. Can Gonzaga rebound back into form?

Washington Vs. Gonzaga Odds

Oddsmakers think so as Gonzaga comes into this one as a massive favorite, opening at -15. Bettors are in agreement, taking the Bulldogs to as high as -17.5. While their offense has remained elite, they may find it tough to put up points on the board as the Huskies defense is well above average and more than capable of slowing down their scoring production.

Speaking of limiting the Gonzaga scoring production, the line movement for the total is interesting as oddsmakers set it at 148 with bettors taking it up to 149. This is aligned with the idea that the Zags roll in this one, having no issue scoring on the Huskies vaunted defense. Even with the Huskies elite perimeter guard play, can the Zags crack the defense?

Washington Vs. Gonzaga Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Wait on the under

I don’t believe so. While I am surprised to see this move in the opposite direction, I am more than comfortable with taking this at a higher buy point. While still elite and top-10 in the nation in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, the Zags have looked lost and forceful at times on offense when they are slowed to a half court set.

This plays into Washington’s hands who will want to slow down the Zags tempo. While both above average in tempo, Gonzaga is far more efficient on the run and will want to put up points in a hurry. Knowing that they cannot compete in a track meet with the Zags, Washington will want to slow this down and set their defense up where teams have struggled to shoot over.

Speaking of struggling to shoot over, the Huskies especially excel at smothering the perimeter. So far, this season opposing offenses have struggled to convert from deep against the Huskies, converting at less than 10% league average.

Not only forcing perimeter shooters into low quality shot selections, but the Huskies also excel in causing Havoc down low. This will be vitally important against the Zags with Drew Timme being the focal point of the offense. The Huskies create turnovers over 20% of the time in half court defensive sets and will be poised for success again with the Zags playing sloppy as of late.

Even if the Huskies fail to create Havoc at their average rate, they can still rely on their defense to force the Zags into low quality shots and stalled out possessions. Getting Timmie to kick it back out at the perimeter where the Huskies swarm at an elite rate will be the key to keeping within the spread against the Zags and cushion for our under ticket to cash.

Washington Vs. Gonzaga Key Matchups

Can the Huskies offense take advantage of their defense limiting the Zags scoring production?

Iowa State scoring production vs Iowa defense

While we know that the Huskies are able to limit the Zags scoring production, are they capable of finding offensive success themselves? They are around average in the nation in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, ranking 166th per Kenpom. They play 10 players meaningful minutes with only two of them in double digit scoring.

A majority of their scoring production comes off the back of forward Keion Brooks who averages 16.6 points per game. While his shooting percentages are pedestrian, the offensive success will revolve around his ability to get clean looks at the rim.

Gonzaga doesn’t pose as the biggest threat on defense, ranking 36th in AdjD, but have been prone to allowing looks at the rim at an above average efficiency field goal percentage in comparison to league average.

Verdict

I will wait to take a full game under as money has been in favor towards the over since first coming out. Washington is more than capable of slowing down the Zags scoring with their elite defensive play while leading to stalled out possessions themselves on the other end.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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