#1 Gonzaga vs BYU

#1 Gonzaga vs BYU | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Written by on February 8, 2021

It’s very rare for top-ranked Gonzaga to play on a Monday, but the unbeaten Zags are in action because of all the COVID-related schedule changes. And they definitely could lose at a good BYU team, although Gonzaga is a 12-point favorite on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Gonzaga at BYU NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Monday, 11 PM ET
  • Where: Viejas Arena
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app, WCCsports.com
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: Gonzaga -12 (total 155.5)

Last Meeting

On Jan. 7, Gonzaga beat visiting BYU 86-69. Zags superstar freshman Jalen Suggs had 16 points, five rebounds, five assists, four steals and a blocked shot. Suggs also shut down BYU leading scorer Alex Barcello, holding him to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. The Cougars made only two of their first 12 shots to trail 30-7 with just over nine minutes gone in the first half. The Cougars are one of the few WCC teams that have enjoyed some success against Gonzaga in the past decade. Gonzaga’s last loss was at BYU last February. In 2017, BYU beat Gonzaga at home to end the Bulldogs’ 29-0 start.

The Zags have a 19-7 advantage in the series, with all 26 matchups coming under Mark Few.

Why Bet on Gonzaga? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Gonzaga didn’t play all that well Thursday but pulled away late to win 76-58 at Pacific. The Bulldogs (18-0, 9-0 West Coast Conference) trailed at halftime for only the second time this season and didn’t pull away until midway through the second half, extending the nation’s longest active winning streak to 22 games dating to 2019-20.

The game was originally scheduled for Feb. 25 but was moved forward three weeks after both teams had multiple games canceled or postponed this week due to COVID-19 issues. Gonzaga was held to a season-low 31 points in the first half. When the two teams played in Spokane on Jan. 23, Gonzaga led by 31 at halftime on the way to its most lopsided win of the season, 95-49.

GU is 9-0 in WCC play for the third straight season. In the 360 minutes of conference play so far this season, the Zags have only trailed for 45 minutes and 58 seconds. In the 320 minutes of games at home this season, GU has trailed for a total of 50 seconds.

Gonzaga is one of the last three unbeaten teams in the nation, and one of three teams that have at least 18 wins. The Zags’ 22 straight wins dating back to 2019-20 is the longest active streak in nation. Gonzaga’s 13 straight conference wins is the second-longest active streak behind Belmont’s 26.

GU is first in the nation in scoring offense (93.3), field goal percentage (55.1), and two-point percentage (64.8). Corey Kispert (19.9) and Drew Timme (18.8) lead the WCC in scoring and field goal percentage (Timme, 62.3) (Kispert, 57.3). Kispert also tops the league in three-pointers made per game (3.1) and three-point field goal percentage (48.2). Jalen Suggs is first in steals (2.2). Andrew Nembhard is first in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.73).

Why Bet on BYU? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

BYU cruised at Portland last Thursday, 105-60.  The Cougars scored 100+ points for the second time this season, behind six different BYU scorers reaching double figures. The only other time BYU has scored 100+ this season was in the opener over Westminster, reaching 108 points in that one.

In his first start of the year, Gideon George finished the game with a double-double, his second of the season. The junior scored a career-high 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. He also added three assists and two steals. George’s 13 rebounds were more than the entire Portland team had in the game.

Five other Cougars got to double-digit points as Matt Haarms and Brandon Averette had 15 apiece, Alex Barcello and Connor Harding had 12 each and Caleb Lohner added 11. The Cougars outscored the Pilots in the paint 48-16, while also outrebounding Portland 46-12. The Cougars went 42-for-67 from the field for a 62.7 percent shooting percentage. That’s the best shooting percentage for the Cougars since shooting 68.6 percent last season against Montana Tech.

Barcello who is averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. Barcello has been among the top three-point shooters in the nation this season. Haarms and Averette, BYU’s other two senior leaders along with Barcello, are next on the team in scoring at 11.5 and 11.3 points per game respectively.

BYU’s bench production has been big this season, outscoring opponents in 17 of 19 games played. BYU has never lost back-to-back games in the Mark Pope era and has the third-longest active streak of games played without consecutive losses at 53. The two teams above them are Houston (119) and Gonzaga (76).

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Gonzaga 83, BYU 80


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