Bulldogs (16-3) vs Pilots (5-15)
Thursday January 26
Earl A. Chiles Center – Portland, OR
Moneyline: Gonzaga -1600, Portland +1065
Spread: Gonzaga -15.5
(Bet Now At Bovada.lv (Bodog If Your In Canada))
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are enjoying another very good season. It was surprising the way St. Mary’s dominated them in the second half last week but that is their only blemish in the West Coast Conference this year.
Odds are that will be their only blemish too, although a visit to BYU and a visit from the Gaels should be good games next month.
I feel like this program has been so very good for so long now that they are not getting the benefit of the doubt in the rankings. I guess that is because they have come up just short in their biggest games to date this year.
The Zags are a complete team. They have good size that can score, toughness and a good amount of athleticism.
While there may be a player or too who goes on to the next level what they are missing is the kind of player that just dominates at the college level. As a result they sometimes seem to be a little too unselfish.
I know that is like saying your a workaholic in a job interview and perhaps not really a criticism.
FYI – Gonzaga has owned the Pilots of late: Last ten games, all wins, 9-1 ATS, only two were within 13 points.
There is no way to sugar coat it – the Portland Pilots are not very good.
They won only three games in the non-conference part of their schedule (including beating Lewis & Clark) and after surprisingly starting West Coast Conference play 2-0 have dropped 4 straight.
San Diego beat them by 19 points on their own home floor so it is a little bit scary to think about what the Bulldogs might do to them. The only pleasant thought is that the Pilots played Gonzaga almost even on their home floor just last year.
The Pilots have been a spunky bunch in the past but they just don’t have the talent this year.
Their best player is forward Ryan Nicholas who leads in points and rebounds. He went to high school at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane but wound up in Portland. That tells the whole story for me.
If they want to avoid not getting embarrassed too badly the formula may be simple. They will have to own the three point line like they did last year when they made 8 more 3 pointers than the Zags.
That is probably too much to ask from a team only making 30% from behind the arc.
Spread Pick: Gonzaga -16.5
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Gonzaga 86 – Portland 59