NCAAB Basketball Picks: SMU vs. Gonzaga

Jeff Grant

Monday, November 17, 2014 3:59 PM GMT

Gonzaga will overwhelm SMU with its offensive firepower in a top-25 matchup, which makes it a top college basketball pick Monday night.

Taking On the Best
SMU was 4-3 against ranked opponents during the 2013-14 campaign, which is important to consider when making your college basketball betting picks, as it hits the road for the first time after picking up a 93-54 home victory over Lamar last Friday.

The Mustangs led the American Athletic Conference in field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense, while outscoring 31 of 37 opponents in the paint by an average of 11.6 points. Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 1-3 SUATS as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points.

 

Impressive Opener
Gonzaga won its 11th consecutive opener by registering a 104-58 victory over Sacramento State as 23-point home favorites last week, as the squad finished shooting 55 percent from the floor and enjoyed a plus-20 advantage in rebounds.

The Bulldogs have one of the more talented backcourts in the country, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds, as Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos combined for 27 points in their first round of action.

Since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, the school is 14-1 SU and 9-4 ATS in November, with the OVER going 4-3 in seven opportunities.

 

Two Transfers
The Mustangs welcomed back 11 returnees from a season ago under Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, while they’ll also receive key contributions from transfers Ben Emelogu and Justin Martin.

SMU has had success in the past with players joining the program in this way, while this duo combined for 16 points in the opener.  Emelogu is expected to start in this affair after transferring from Virginia Tech, while Martin comes off the bench after starting his collegiate career at Xavier.

 

Hostile Environment
The Bulldogs have gone from 6.5-point home favorites to as high as 8.5 in the marketplace, which isn’t surprising due to their dominating record in Spokane, as they’ve gone 136-8 SU in the McCarthey Center since it opened for the 2004-05 season.

Gonzaga has proven victorious in 64 of 70 games versus non-conference opponents inside the venue, as it welcomes in a foe that dropped two of three true road games against ranked teams last season.

Some say Gonzaga will be a powerhouse this year. Do you agree?

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bulldogs as one of their top college basketball picks, as they’ve gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous affair.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Gonzaga Bulldogs -8 at The Greek