College Basketball Betting Preview: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins – Tuesday, November 23, 2021

by Spooky Express | November 23, 2021 |

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It is not often we get a dream match-up early in the college basketball season. We will get that rare opportunity as #1 Gonzaga (5-0) plays #2 UCLA (5-0) in Las Vegas.

Both teams won their first game in the Good Sam Empire Classic. The Bruins seemed to be looking ahead to Gonzaga as they were sloppy in a 75-62 win over Bellarmine. The Bulldogs easily defeated Central Michigan by a score of 107-54.

UCLA Bruins Betting Preview

Mick Cronin made sure last year’s impressive run to the Final Four was not going to go to his teams’ heads. He put two top ten teams in Villanova and Gonzaga on the Bruins early-season schedule and wanted to test them before Pac-12 play begins.

UCLA defeated Villanova 86-77 in overtime in their second game of the season. Last night’s victory was the first time they scored under 85 points this season.

Johnny Juzang leads the team in scoring at 19.8 points per game. Juzang has not shot it particularly well with an effective field goal percentage of 51.8% but is getting plenty of opportunities. His shot percentage of 35.1% ranks 27th in the nation.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. has been the best player for UCLA in the early going. He is averaging 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. He is shooting 41.7% from behind the arc.

Jules Bernard (15.4) and Tyger Campbell (10.8) are also averaging in double figures. Bernard leads the team in a three-point shooting percentage at 44%.

Gonzaga Bulldogs Betting Preview

Just like Cronin’s Bruins, Mark Few made sure he tested his team early and often. The Bulldogs have already played Texas and will now face UCLA, Duke, Alabama, and Texas Tech in their next seven games.

It should come as no surprise that Gonzaga has the number one ranked offense in efficiency occurring to Kenpom. The Bulldogs effective field goal percentage of 61.8% ranks fourth in the nation.

Drew Timme is doing nothing to hurt his National Player of the Year argument early in the season. He is averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 67.3%.

Freshman Chet Holmgren has also lived up to the hype. Holmgren is shooting 84% from inside the arc and his effective field goal percentage of 75% ranks 22nd in the country. Holmgren is averaging 12.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per contest.

In case those two were not enough to scare you on the inside, Julian Strawther is off to a terrific start. Strawther is averaging 14.8 points and five rebounds per game while shooting 52.2% from the three-point range.

The Bulldogs defense is nothing to slouch at as well. Gonzaga ranks 14th in the nation in defensive efficiency.

UCLA vs. Gonzaga Betting Odds & Lines

Mybookie has Gonzaga as a 6-point favorite. The total is set at 156.5 points. The Bulldogs are -260 on the moneyline, with the Bruins at +210.

College Basketball Free Betting Pick

Points should be plenty as two top ten offenses face each other in Las Vegas. While UCLA looked off last night, I imagine it was them looking ahead to Gonzaga.

I think the Bulldogs are just too much. While this could be a title game preview, I think Gonzaga leaves with an impressive victory covering the six points. Holmgren and Timme will be too much on the inside.

Score Prediction: Gonzaga 90, UCLA 80

Spooky Express Free Pick: Gonzaga -6

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