There’s no denying who the kings of the West Coast Conference are, and that’s No. 5 Gonzaga Bulldogs, the only nationally ranked team from that league. The Bulldogs will look to maintain an undefeated conference record this Thursday at home against the visiting and upset-seeking Loyola Marymount Lions squad. The sportsbook doesn’t have much hope for the visiting team, giving Gonzaga a massive 23.5-point edge which may be a bit inflated, and could result in a healthy payday for those who bet accordingly.
Betting Preview for the Loyola Marymount Lions vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs College Basketball Game on January 17, 2019
Where: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane
When: Thursday, January 17, 2019, 10:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Loyola Marymount Lions (13-4 Overall / 1-2 Conference)
The past few weeks have been quite an up-and-down ride for the Lions. They haven’t won two games in row in nearly a month and are 2-3 SU in their last five games. That stretch includes their 71-60 home loss to the Saint Mary’s Gaels last Saturday. Despite the topsy-turvy nature of their recent contests, the Lions can’t be taken lightly even by a team of Gonzaga’s standard. Loyola Marymount is the same team that beat the UNLV Rebels and the Georgetown Hoyas earlier this season, so this Lions team is one that has the potential to surprise, especially when overlooked. Key to Loyola Marymount’s relative success this season is its defense. While not a high-scoring team, the Lions cut their opponents down to size with their defense that allows just 63.2 points per game – though that’s largely because play an excruciatingly slow brand of basketball. Playing in a snail’s pace could be key for the Lions to keep in step with the Bulldogs.
Loyola Marymount, which is 344th in the nation in adjusted tempo according to KenPom, is 5-5 against the spread (ATS) in its last 10 games.
Betting on the Gonzaga Bulldogs (16-2 Overall / 3-0 Conference)
Unfortunately for Loyola Marymount, it is catching Gonzaga when the Bulldogs are already back at full strength. The Bulldogs are enjoying the services of forward Killian Tillie again after he missed a bunch of games due to an injury. Tillie has played in Gonzaga’s last three games, and after totaling just nine points in his first two games this season, he seemed to have ridden himself off the rust from his long layoff when he went 6-for-7 from the field and finished with 14 points in Gonzaga’s 96-83 home win over the San Francisco Dons on last Saturday. With or without Tillie, though, Gonzaga should be able to overpower the Lions. After all, the Bulldogs have the likes of Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, and Zach Norvell Jr. still on their roster. Hachimura is averaging 20.8points per game, while Clarke and Norvell are pumping out 17.0 and 15.7 points per contest, respectively.
Gonzaga is 6-0 ATS in its last six home games.
Gonzaga wins, 85-71.
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