College Basketball Best Bets: Will Duke Give Gonzaga First Test Of Season?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 26, 2021 - Last Updated on November 29, 2021
college basketball best bets

Thanksgiving has shifted many bettors’ attention towards the NFL slate, but tomorrow delivers one of the premier games of season on the hardwood. Let’s dig into my college basketball best bets for No. 1 Gonzaga against No. 5 Duke in the Continental Tire Challenge.

Click on the odds below to bet now. You can also continue the discussion in our betting community, as we break down all of the games throughout the week.

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College Basketball Best Bets: Friday, Nov. 26

Gonzaga vs. Duke – Friday, Nov. 26, 10:30 p.m. ET

This spread initially was initially Gonzaga -5.5 on Monday, yet the betting market reopened the line with Mark Few’s team as an 8.5-point favorite after it dismantled UCLA. The Bulldogs have covered all but one of their games this season.

Duke presents a matchup advantage inside the arc, tallying the 12th-highest near-proximity scoring rate (lay-ups, dunks and tip-ins), according to Haslametrics. Although Gonzaga is surrendering the 19th-lowest field goal percentage in that department, they’ve yet to face a Blue Devils-like frontcourt.

Chet Holmgren, the top-ranked player in the 2021 recruiting class, generated plenty of buzz after his 15-point performance on Tuesday. But Paulo Banchero is a more physical presence that should find success against him — both off the dribble and in the low-post. Duke will aim to play through its five-star freshman, as he boasts the team’s highest possession rate.

Moreover, the 7-foot Mark Williams has a size advantage on Wooden Award favorite Drew Timme (+175). Expect him to take advantage one-on-one or if the Bulldogs decides to double Banchero. He’s also producing the 11th-highest offensive rebounding rate.

Mike Kryzewski’s team hasn’t relied on its perimeter scoring early on, but that area of the court could open up were Duke to establish itself down low. Blue Devils guard Wendell Moore is an improved shooter (33.3%), and freshman Trevor Keels can space the floor as well.

At the other end, Moore represents the key to thwarting Gonzaga’s attack. His 6-foot-5 frame should disrupt Bulldogs point guard Andrew Nembhard from excelling off the dribble.

Duke may be best suited slowing down the tempo a bit, as Mark Few’s offense is elite in transition. That could mean more of a look towards the under (O/U ) if they’re efficient enough in the halfcourt.

With the line nearing a full three possessions, I’ll take the value with the underdog.

Eli’s College Basketball Bets: Duke +8.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook (bet down to +7.5)
Best Available Line: Duke

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Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich