Gonzaga Loses Home Court Advantage Over Winter Break

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Mark Lathrop

Monday, December 18, 2017 12:55 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 12:55 PM GMT

The Gonzaga Bulldogs look for some home cooking to take care of the IUPUI Jaguars on Monday Night. Our NCAAB handicapper tries to brush off a bad 2OT beat and finds the best angle to profit from this game.

Free NCAAB Picks: OVER 148.5
Best Lines Available at BetOnline

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The Gonzaga Bulldogs got a scare on Saturday night at home, as the 256th ranked North Dakota Fighting Hawks took them to overtime as 30-point underdogs. One of the things I look for with Gonzaga every year is the deterioration of their home-court advantage around winter break. This is when the school opens up the student section to boosters to buy tickets and get into the cramped McCarthy Athletic Center. The atmosphere changes dramatically as a bunch of folks who don’t go to basketball games much get to sit close to the court. It’s also when my insurance broker offers me tickets, by the way. It is not loud, it is not raucous, and it is very civil. Almost always this results in the Bulldogs coming out flat in some games during this stretch of games.

The market may have overreacted to the scare against North Dakota though, as they have placed Gonzaga as just -26 favorites over IUPUI, who is not as good as North Dakota. IUPUI is ranked 271st in overall kenpom.com rankings, and have one of the worst defenses in the country. Gonzaga is 13th ranked in effective FG% at 57.8% and will go up against an IUPUI defense ranked 350th in the same statistic at 61.1%. The early total for this game has opened at 148.5, and one has to think Gonzaga has a good chance at hitting their season average of 91.2 points per game in this matchup.

Gonzaga’s offense is nearly a certainty to score, but IUPUI is a different story. Unlike North Dakota on Saturday night, the Jaguars do not shoot the 3 well and have only one player, 6’ 1” freshman guard Jaylen Minnett, who shoots better than .400 from 3pt range. Minnett only averages 24 minutes per game and 7.7 points though, so that statistic is with a small sample size. Their leading scorer is senior 6’ 6” forward, Aaron Brennan, who averages 12.9 points and 4 rebounds per game. Not far behind is senior 6’ 2” guard, Ron Patterson, who averages 11.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. There is a pattern here in that IUPUI has a short roster that does not rebound well.

IUPUI has lost five in a row coming into this game and is coming off of a 72-59 against Washington State on the road. It’s not a long road trip from Pullman to Spokane though, and given no students will be in the McCarthy Athletic Center this might be the best road situation IUPUI can ask for. Instead of backing them on the side, which has quickly moved from -26 to -27 in favor of Gonzaga, I will take the Over with the idea that the Bulldogs will play defense with a slightly lower intensity in this game. At 148.5 there is plenty of value on the Over if Gonzaga scores near 90 points, as it looks like they can do easily here against IUPUI.

2017-18 NCAAB Record: 16-8 , +7.50 Units

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