South Dakota State vs. Gonzaga Betting Predictions

Jason Lake

Monday, March 13, 2017 12:51 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 13, 2017 12:51 PM UTC

The Gonzaga Bulldogs didn’t get the No. 1 overall seed for March Madness, but they’re No. 1 in the West, and they opened at –20.5 on Thursday’s NCAAB odds board.


South Dakota State vs Gonzaga

West Region, 1st Round
Thursday, March 16 - 2pm E.T

Was there any doubt the Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-1 SU, 22-7-1 ATS) would be the No. 1 seed in the West Region? Hardly. But that one loss was enough to deny the Bulldogs the top seed in the entire NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Poppycock, I say, poppycock. Nobody in Division I played better basketball than Gonzaga this year.

But now we have the ‘Zags laying... is this right? As we go to press, it says 21.5 points here on the NCAAB odds board for Thursday’s opening-round March Madness tilt with the No. 16 South Dakota State Jackrabbits (18-16 SU, 14-16-1 ATS), the champions of the Summit League. That’s on neutral ground in Salt Lake City, and that’s up from –20.5 points at the open, which just happened minutes ago. Wait, this just in: Gonzaga is up to –23. Holy hand grenade.

Happy Jacks

Is 23 points too many points? Let’s ask the scientists. As always, our first choice for free advanced college hoops stats is Ken Pomeroy, and he has Gonzaga ranked first overall (No. 10 offense, No. 2 defense) in Division I, 33.05 points better than the average team per 100 possessions. South Dakota State ranks No. 187 overall (No. 62 offense, No. 307 defense), and 1.33 points below average. Let’s see... 34.38 points, maybe 68 possessions apiece... okay, let’s call it 23 points then.

The Jacks have played Gonzaga once in their history, in 1956. SDSU won 88-78.

— Matt Zimmer (@argusmattz) March 12, 2017

At least the Bulldogs may have had some value at the open. They ended up getting pushed down to fourth in the AP and coaches’ polls despite plowing their way to yet another West Coast Conference title – that non-con loss to the BYU Cougars (+21 away) at the end of the regular season was a bummer. But now that Gonzaga is up to –23, we can’t in good conscience recommend putting that much chalk in your college basketball picks, especially against a 3-point machine like the Jackrabbits.

Free NCAAB Pick: South Dakota State +23Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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