Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST.
10:00 PM EST. Make no mistake that the Gaels are a quality team that is 13-0 in conference play and 24-2 overall. The West Coast Conference consists of Gonzaga and St Mary’s and then there is everyone else. The Gaels have challenged the Zags and have been in this spot many times before over that past decade or so, that being, in a position to knock the Zags off their throne but when the chips were down, the Gaels folded like a cheap tent. The market and media is suggesting that this year is different. They’re anticipating that this is the year that the Gaels finally have the horses to beat the Zags and that very well could be true but pedigree matters and so does coaching and knowing how to handle the biggest moments. So yeah, give the Gaels credit for beating San Francisco, Pacific, Pepperdine and a whole slew of other cupcakes. The Gaels also went into Gonzaga three weeks ago and won by three but that was then and this is now. The Zags will be better prepped this time around because that’s what Mark Few excels at. It’s also worth noting that the Gaels lost to Georgia on a neutral floor and lost at home to Washington State. If that’s not disturbing for a high seed like the 11th ranked Gaels, we don’t know what is.
The Zags have twice as many overall losses (4) than the Gaels. To that we say, “big deal”. While the Gaels were losing non-conference games to Wazzou and Georgia, the Zags were losing to a great Florida team (in double OT, no less) and an even better Villanova squad. The Zags other two defeats were at SDSU by two points and that aforementioned loss to the Gaels by three. We could easily be discussing a one-loss Zags’ squad here. Despite being the No. 9-ranked team in BPI, the Bulldogs are staring at being second-round underdogs (seed wise) because they have underperformed (record wise) relative to their skill. In other words, four losses for a team with Gonzaga's schedule (111th-most difficult, per BPI) is awfully costly to a résumé, but the entire body of the Bulldogs' work indicates they are better than their strength of record would suggest. The reality is that Mark Few has his team playing at an almost Elite Eight level despite losing so much talent from last season's run to the title game. The Zags win big games and Mark Few orchestrates big victories. The Gaels have the better record but they’re not the better team, thus the host will likely be playing second fiddle to this big brother once again. Gonzaga outright is the call.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
#679 Gonzaga +107 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.14)