It’s the same old song as you’re not getting many top 25 matchups and that’s when the degree of difficulty increases as we see the smaller schools on a less frequent basis and their playing performances are more inconsistent.
Gonzaga is a small 2.5 point betting favorite and these are favorable NCAA basketball odds if you’re a Gonzaga backer. This is just a matter of the point spread being low because the superior team is on the road against a good team, but not a great team. Which way do you lean?
Good Teams Find Ways To Win
This is exactly what Gonzaga did in its last game, an 80-68 victory over New Mexico State. The Bulldogs are known for their efficient shooting and are 5th in the nation in points, but against New Mexico State, they shot just 35.1% from the field in the 1st half. The 2nd half was a different story as the Bulldogs shot the lights out, shooting 64.5% from the field. Senior center Sam Dower stepped up when it counted as he poured in 20 point in the 2nd half.
This game was a 3-man show of Dower, Kevin Pangos (15 points), and Gerard Coleman (21 points). The Bulldogs will need a more balanced attack if they expect to beat the Mountaineers on the road. West Virginia hasn’t lost this year at home.
The schedule is getting tougher for West Virginia as they’ve lost 2 out of their last 3 games. Nobody can blame them for dropping their last contest, an 80-71 loss to an undefeated Missouri team on the road. WVU got off to very slow start and wasn’t able to play catch up as they shot a very pedestrian-like 41.5% from the field and 21.1% from 3-point range. West Virginia’s starters accounted for just 38 points in all.
In order for West Virginia to run with the “Zags”, their offensive game will need to be flowing and leading scorer, Eron Harris will need a bounce back game. Harris scored 8 points in just 19 minutes against Missouri due to foul trouble. The margin for error is very low for West Virginia in this ball game.
Pick- Gonzaga -2.5 at Bet 365
N.J.I.T (6-4) at Seton Hall (6-3)
Degree Of Difficulty Matters
If you look at the N.J.I.T Highlanders, you see that they’ve had a very respectable season thus far. If you take a look at their previous opponents and who they beat, the immediate thought of a Seton Hall blowout at home comes to mind. The fact of the matter is that N.J.I.T is playing teams such as Army while Seton Hall is dealing with the likes of Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. This is why the Pirates are a 13.5 point betting favorite from the sportsbooks.
Back On Track
Guard, Sterling Gibbs, got a game that he and the Pirates sorely needed in a tight win over Rutgers. Gibbs had averaged just 7.6 points per game in his 3 previous games while shooting a disgusting 4 for 30 from the field. Against Rutgers, he reverted back to his original form as he poured in a game high 27 points while shooting 7of 12 from the field and 3 for 4 from beyond the arc. Gibbs isn’t necessarily a great shooter, but he’s a big part of the Seton Hall offense. If he has even a decent game shooting-wise, this game will turn into a blowout and I expect that to happen.
N.J.I.T will need a bounce back performance from their leading scorer, Damon Lynn. On the season, the freshman is averaging 18.9 points per game, but is coming off of an 8 point performance while going 0 for 7 from 3 point range. This isn’t UMASS Lowell that Lynn is facing, the Pirates provide the test of a lifetime for Lynn. It will be interesting to see how he reacts, but don’t expect the Seton Hall defense to allow an offense such as the Highlanders many 2nd chance opportunities. Take Seton Hall covering the spread for your NCAA baskeball pick.
Pick- Seton Hall -13.5 at Bet 365