Thursday College Basketball Best Bets: Will No. 1 Gonzaga Victimize San Francisco?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on January 20, 2022 - Last Updated on January 21, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

Although Thursday’s college basketball slate doesn’t showcase as many intriguing matchups and situational spots, one of the top games on the board lies in Spokane, Wash. — between No. 1 Gonzaga and San Francisco. Spots are guided by bounce-back, letdown, look-ahead or revenge opportunities. Let’s break down this critical WCC clash for my Thursday college basketball best bets.

Click on the odds below to place a wager.

In this COVID era, some of these bets are contingent on the betting market and player availability, so be sure to check back and follow me on Twitter. You can also continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect all of the games.

San Francisco Dons at No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

Although Mark Few’s unit finds itself atop my college basketball power rankings, it could be in for an arduous test against an explosive Dons attack. San Francisco dropped both of last season’s meetings versus Gonzaga by double figures, including a 39-point drumming, so there should be some revenge in mind for Todd Golden’s squad.

For San Francisco to hang around, it must keep the Bulldogs honest from behind the arc. The Dons are manufacturing the 64th-highest 3-point scoring rate in Division I, and they primarily rely on off-the-dribble perimeter shots.

According to ShotQuality, Gonzaga surrenders a top-100 efficiency on 3-pointers of that variety. It’s also just above average in open 3-pointers allowed. Hence, the looks should be there for Jamaree Bouyea & Co. if they’re able to play at their preferred pace.

Golden’s bunch boasts the size to battle the Bulldogs on the glass, notching a top-two rebounding rate at both ends in WCC play. USF should be able to somewhat slow down the tempo in the process, but its biggest liability is defending ball screens.

Considering that’s how Gonzaga establishes big man Drew Timme early on before setting up its own perimeter offense, the Dons will struggle to overcome any deficit if their shooters aren’t in sync.

USF losing two of its last four contests, coming against BYU and Loyola-Chicago, has created some market value. Let’s sell-high on the Bulldogs after their recent stretch of offensive dominance.

Eli’s Bet: USF +17 (placed on Thursday afternoon at DraftKings Sportsbook)
College Basketball Best Bets: USF +17 or better
Best Available Line:USF

Eli Hershkovich Avatar
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