With the way Gonzaga has been playing this season, no one should be taken aback by them being favored against St. John's here. Where's the best NCAA basketball betting value for this matchup?
The Zags are favored by 6.5 points on the NCAA basketball odds - though this is practically a road game for Gonzaga, as St. John's knows Madison Square Garden well.
We know what Gonzaga brings to the table. They've been one of the nation's best offenses so far, but the Red Storm will try to slow them down.
The Bulldogs seem unstoppable right now, as they've been destroying teams each and every time they take the court. All five of their wins have come by at least 12 points, and most have been complete blowouts.
In the NIT season tipoff semi-finals, Gonzaga scooted past Georgia in a 88-76 win.
The Bulldogs hit an even 50.0 percent from the floor overall, but a huge chunk of their success came from attacking the rim and getting to the line. They hit a highly impressive 32-of-35 from the charity stripe. Transfer Kyle Wiltjer, who you may remember from his time with Kentucky, went off in the semis, dropping 32 points on 14-of-26 shooting. Kevin Pangos added 22 points, and Byron Wesley also hit double figures against the Bulldogs.
With five players who average in double figures, this Gonzaga team can practically score at will, as evident by the fact they're averaging 93.4 points per game so far, the fourth-best mark in college basketball. The Zags have hit 55.1 percent from the field (#5 in the country) overall and are second in assists (21.4 per game) heading into tonight's championship game.
Wiltjer, Pangos and Wesley have all been terrific this season, but Domantas Sabonis and Gary Bell. Jr have also been big contributors, as have Angel Nunez and Przemek Karnowski. This team is loaded from top to bottom, making it so difficult for opponents to gameplan against them.
St. John's Red Storm
So far so good for the Red Storm too, who have gone a perfect 4-0, which includes a hard-fought 70-61 win over Minnesota in the semi-finals of this tournament.
D'Angelo Harrison was the key to St. John's win over the Gophers, as he had 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, six steals and a block in one of the more complete games you'll see in college basketball. The Red Storm erased a nine-point halftime deficit by outscoring Minnesota 39-21 in the second half on their way to the win.
Harrison has been a stud for the team so far, averaging 18.5 PPG and 10.0 RPG in 33.8 minutes a contest. Rysheed Jordan has excelled as well, putting up 17.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 4.0 APG as his averages. Sir'Dominic Painter and Chris Obekpa have been great on the glass, combining for an average of 18.5 rebounds per game
St. John's has been more than formidable on the glass so far this season, averaging 46.3 per game (seventh-best in the country), and they'll need to gobble up any loose rebounds here against the hot-shooting Zags.
They can't afford to gift this team more opportunities to put the ball in the basket, because they'll make the most of them.
NCAA Basketball Pick
As long as the Bulldogs are playing this efficiently offensively, we have a hard time fading them, regardless of how many points they're laying.
We backed Gonzaga the other week as a massive favorite and they had little trouble covering. Obviously, St. John's is a better team and has been playing well early on this season, but we still don't think they have the necessary firepower to stay with this very talented Bulldogs team.
In the finals of the NIT tipoff, we'll be recommending that readers add Gonzaga to their NCAA basketball picks. Enjoy the game tonight!
NCAA Basketball Pick: Gonzaga Bulldogs -6.5 at BookMaker