The West Coast Tournament meeting between the No.6 San Francisco Dons and the No.1 Gonzaga Bulldogs launches the week in NCAA tournament basketball. While the Zags have had an amazing regular season,mid-march often proves to be the achilles heel for the Spokane team. Still, they remain to be the second favorite to win the tournament, priced at +850 behind Kansas (+500) at the sportsbook. KenPom meanwhile, states that the Bulldogs have a 61.9% chance of winning the WCC Tournament. Will they cover the spread against San Francisco, much less make it through with a straight up (SU) win? Let’s find out.
Betting Preview for the San Francisco Dons vs Gonzaga Bulldogs NCAA College Basketball West Coast Tournament Game on March 10 2020
Where: Orleans Arena, Paradise, Nevada
When: Monday, March 10, 2020, 9:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the San Francisco Dons (22-11 Overall / 10-7 Conference)
San Francisco is coming off of an impressive 72-54 win over the Pacific Tigers. It was close going into the half, with the Dons just leading 36-35, but they outscored their rival 36-19 in the second half and smooth-sailed to victory.
The Dons and the Bulldogs met twice in February, with Gonzaga taking both games. On both occasions San Francisco led at halftime but in each instance the Bulldogs rallied to victory. San Francisco kept the first game (Feb 1) close to the end, losing by just 4-points in a 83-79 affair, but they got demolished in the second (Feb 20) in a 71-54 loss. Aside from leading at the halfway mark, were there any positives for head coach Todd Golden’s team in the most recent meeting with their West Coast Conference opponent? Not if you consider 33.3% from the field, 25% from 3-point range, and 66.7% from the free-throw line to be admirable. In fact, they only got the line six times, showing no aggression whatsoever, which explains their 54-point offensive “effort”. Their only hope going into this Monday’s game is that they have momentum, whereas the Zags may be a little too well rested – 10 days without a game.
The Dons are 9-10-1 against the spread (ATS) after a win this season, and just 3-5 ATS as an underdog.
Betting on the Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-2 Overall / 15-1 Conference)
Gonzaga has reached 22 consecutive WCC Tournament title games, winning 16 of them. One of Zags’ six losses came last season when Saint Mary’s pulled off a 60-47 upset. That fact is fresh on the minds of this squad and head coach Mark Norman is reminding them not to be overconfident as they head into Monday’s game. Again, Gonzaga won each meeting with the Dons in February after sloppy first halves. They can’t afford to play that way in the WCC Tournament because San Francisco is expecting just that, but this time they won’t take their foot off of the gas. But if Gonzaga can take an early lead, you can expect this game to be in cruise control from there on in.
Gonzaga will be spurred on by senior forward Killian Tillie who is one of five finalists for the 2020 Karl Malone Award. The power forward will be the key to victory here, despite having missed nine games this season due to a variety of injuries. He is averaging 13.6 points per game, shooting 41% from 3-point range, and leads the team in overall box plus/minus and in offensive box plus/minus.
The Bulldogs are 14-14 ATS after a win this season, 15-15 ATS as a favorite at the sportsbook, and are 7-5 ATS after a week of rest.
Gonzaga wins, 79-72.
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