Free College Basketball Pick: Gonzaga vs. San Diego

Darin Zank

Monday, December 29, 2014 4:58 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 4:58 PM UTC

Before betting on this NCAA Basketball match, understand that although Gonzaga had beaten San Diego 11 times in a row, the Toreros ended that streak with a victory over the Zags the last time they met. 

Zags-Toreros Betting Odds
Most of the college basketball betting market opened this game with San Diego favored by 10.5 points, and that number was holding steady in the early betting.

Those out there who think San Diego might pull another upset in this spot could get a price of +505 on the moneyline at 5Dimes.


Zags-Toreros: The Match-Up
Gonzaga returned three starters this season from a team that went 29-7 last season, but got blown out by Arizona in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Zags also added transfer Byron Wesley, who averaged 18 points and six boards per game last season with USC. Once again, expectations are very high in Spokane.

The Zags are off to a 12-1 start to this season, 6-3 ATS. Gonzaga owns a victory/cover over SMU, 2-1 records both SU and ATS in three games against Pac-12 foes (Arizona, Washington State and UCLA) and an 87-80 win/cover at BYU Saturday night.

The Bulldogs shot 49 percent from the floor Saturday, held the Cougars to just 40 percent shooting, and covered as five-point favorites. Gonzaga led that game by 16 points early, allowed BYU to come all the way back and take a six-point lead early in the second half, but ended the game on a 20-13 run for the victory.

San Diego returned four starters this season from a team that went 18-17 last season. Realistically, the Toreros are shooting for an upper-division finish in the West Coast Conference, and a post-season berth, whatever that might consist of.

San Diego is off to a 7-6 start, 6-4 ATS, after falling at home to Portland Saturday 61-58. But just prior to that the Toreros had won three in a row.

Earlier this season San Diego lost at San Diego State 57-48 but covered as an 11-point dog, and lost at UCLA 75-68 but covered as a 10-point dog. So the Toreros are 2-0 ATS this season as double-digit dogs.

Saturday night San Diego shot just 37 percent from the floor, and allowed the Pilots to make eight of 14 shots from 3-point range. The Toreros also shot just seven free-throws for the game, which means they didn't take the ball to the hoop too often.

Find out which NCAA Basketball Picks have the best value today.

Zags-Toreros Key Numbers
Gonzaga is shooting 53 percent from the field this season, which ranks second in the country, 40 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the FT line. The Zags are also holding opponents to just 39 percent FG shooting.

San Diego is shooting 46 percent from the floor, 38 percent from long range and 68 percent from the line. The Toreros are also limiting opponents to 43 percent FG shooting.


Zags-Toreros Recent History
As mentioned above Gonzaga had won 11 in a row against San Diego, but the Toreros upset the Zags last February 69-66, winning outright as seven-point home dogs. USD only shot 40 percent from the floor that night, while the Bulldogs shot 50 percent, but the Toreros made 23 of 33 free-throws and won the turnover battle 13-7.

That game played OVER its total of 131.

Also, in the first meeting between these teams last season Gonzaga won 59-56 but San Diego covered as a 17-point dog in NCAA Basketball odds.


Zags-Toreros Betting Trends
Gonzaga is 5-3 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Zags games have averaged 146 points.

San Diego is 2-3 on the totals, as Toreros games have averaged 135 points.


Zags-Toreros Free Pick
We've got a pretty good idea of who's going to win this game; Gonzaga just outclasses San Diego. And while giving double-digits on the road can be risky, at least it's a better line than if this game were being played in Spokane; the Zags might be favored by 15 points if that were the case. So despite the Toreros' recent ATS success in this series we'll take the better team, at the more manageable spread, for our free NCAA Basketball pick in this spot.

Free College Basketball Pick: Gonzaga -10.5 at BetOnline Sportsbook

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