Creighton & Gonzaga Offer Best Friday Night Matchup

Willie Bee

Friday, December 1, 2017 2:02 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 2:02 PM UTC

A tough early-season schedule continues for Creighton when the Bluejays go to Gonzaga on Friday as underdogs on the college basketball odds.

Creighton Bluejays vs Gonzaga Bulldogs

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Free NCAAB Pick: Creighton +8Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Considering how weak and thin the Friday college hoops schedule will soon become, you won’t hear me complaining about tonight’s slate that leads us into December. True, it might be a short card, but at least it offers up a collision of top 25 teams with the Creighton Bluejays flying up to the Great Northwest battle the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Big East meets West Coast in this 10 PM (ET) tip at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, ESPN2 providing the broadcast. Creighton arrives ranked No. 25 in the AP, No. 23 on the coaches list and 33rd according to Ken Pomeroy. Gonzaga sits 15/14/15 in those three rankings, and is an 8 point favorite at 5Dimes where 157½ is the total.

’Jays Meeting 4th Ranked Team In 5-Game Stretch

The schools are getting together on the hardwood for the seventh time, but the first in nearly 41 years. Creighton and Gonzaga met in Spokane in January 1977, and if they give us the same effort, we’re in for an offensive show. The Bluejays won that contest, 100-83, when they played in the Mountain Valley and the Bulldogs resided in the Big Sky. The victory left Creighton 4-2 in the rivalry.

Playing a ranked squad away from home is certainly nothing new for Greg McDermott and the Bluejays. Gonzaga is the fourth top 25 group Creighton has played outside Omaha in the last five games, and McDermott’s ballers are 2-1 against the previous three. The one setback came to Baylor in the Hall of Fame Classic Finals after the Bluejays won and covered the NCAA basketball odds against Northwestern and UCLA. Among the nation’s leaders in making shots (51.3%), Creighton should only get better once Syracuse transfer Kaleb Joseph and freshman Ty-Shon Alexander get comfortable in the rotation.

Who Has Better Night Behind Arc?

Mark Few’s team put in extra work at last week’s PK80 Tournament, losing in double-overtime to Florida and beating Texas in another OT contest. Scoring has been spread deep into the rotation, six players averaging 10+ points per game and the team shooting close to 51% overall.

Both these teams like to jack it up from outside, each averaging around 27 attempts per game from beyond the arc. Creighton is sinking better than 37% of its tries while Gonzaga is connecting on close to 40%. The biggest difference, so far, is the Bluejays have defended against the trey much better. Considering how they’ve done against solid competition so far, I’m willing to put my faith and my free college basketball pick on the Bluejays.

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