String of ATS Losses by Gonzaga Leads to Play on BYU

Willie Bee

Saturday, February 3, 2018 2:22 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 2:22 PM UTC

Life on the West Coast Highway has been rough on BYU this year, and the Cougars are double-digit underdogs on the NCAA basketball odds this evening at Gonzaga.

BYU Cougars vs Gonzaga Bulldogs

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Free NCAAB Pick: BYU +11½, Under 146
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Saint Mary’s might be the first name we see when looking at the West Coast Conference standings, but is there anyone who really doubts the path to the league title – and all the trappings that go with that – doesn’t still go through Gonzaga? Of course, that presumptuousness is something Mark Few has to guard against as his Bulldogs grind out the final seven games of their conference schedule.

Two of those contests are against the very capable BYU Cougars, the first coming Saturday evening at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane (10 PM ET), and the crème de la crème of sports books expect Gonzaga to gain its 21st win of the campaign, and fifth in a row. Backing the Bulldogs means starting the contest 11½ in the hole with totals ranging from 145 to 146 points.

Bulldogs In Midst Of 0-6 ATS Run

If a third WCC team is going to crash the NCAA Tournament, it will be the Cougars though they will need to beat Gonzaga at least once and at least make it to the semis of the conference tourney. Brigham Young has already dropped both of its regular season matchups to Saint Mary’s, with three of the four league losses coming on the road. The latest of those defeats came two nights ago at Loyola Marymount where the Cougars were 10 point favorites only to come out sloppy and eventually fall to the Lions, 76-69.

Gonzaga struggled a bit en route to its 4th-straight win the same evening, coming away with a 69-59 triumph at home over San Diego. Despite the Bulldogs earning their 20th dubya of the season, it was yet another losing performance against the NCAA basketball odds, the sixth consecutive losing wager for anyone following the ‘Zags. Johnathan Williams was the key contributor for the Bulldogs, recording his sixth double-double of the season (14 pts, 12 reb).

Series History, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

If BYU head coach Dave Rose is looking for something positive going into this game, it’s that his Cougars have enjoyed more success in Spokane against the Bulldogs than at home in Provo. The first of two meetings this season – Zags and Cougs close regular season in Utah on Feb. 24 – the Bulldogs have a 12-6 advantage in the rivalry, three of those losses coming at McCarthey. The teams split their decisions a year ago, each winning on the road, and the ‘under’ has been paying off in the meetings as WCC foes, totals running 4-13 O/U in those clashes.

Given the series history plus Gonzaga’s string of losing tickets, I can’t help but double-up by taking the points and playing the ‘under’ for my free college basketball pick.

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Check out the highlights from last night’s win over San Diego

— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) February 2, 2018

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