Thursday College Basketball Best Bets: Fade Gonzaga in WCC Rematch?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on February 23, 2022 - Last Updated on February 26, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

There are eight ranked programs in action on Thursday’s college basketball slate, including No. 1 Gonzaga at San Francisco. Let’s dig into my college basketball best bets for this critical WCC tilt.

Click on the odds below to place a bet.

You can continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect the biggest games throughout the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

Gonzaga Bulldogs at San Francisco Dons

Mark Few’s unit possesses the lowest March Madness odds while riding a 16-game winning streak. On the flip side, the Dons are likely in the field as of now. A victory over the Bulldogs on senior night would secure a berth into the big dance, though.

Although Gonzaga notched a 16-point win over San Francisco in their first meeting on Jan. 20, Todd Golden’s crew narrowly covered the spread as 16.5-point road underdogs. Dons guard Khalil Shabazz, who’s their third-league scorer (13.2 ppg), was hampered with foul trouble throughout.

Are The Bulldogs Vulnerable At Either End?

In that affair, USF shot 28.6% (6-of-21) from behind the arc. Nevertheless, it’s generating the 52nd-highest perimeter scoring rate in the country.

The Bulldogs’ defense presents little to no weaknesses, but they’ve struggled guard catch-and-shoot 3s in conference play. In fact, they rank right in the middle of the league in percentage of open 3-pointers allowed (via ShotQuality).

San Francisco’s size also proved it could hang with Gonzaga on the glass — with the Bulldogs outrebounding their opponent by a single board. If Dons big man Yauhen Massalski stays out of foul trouble, they should be able to repeat that effort. In turn, they’ll be in position to manufacture transition looks from behind the arc for Shabazz and Jamaree Bouyea.

Moreover, Gonzaga doesn’t aim to produce takeaways as much as last season’s team, which is USF’s Achilles heel.

How The Dons Match Up Defensively

At the other end, the Bulldogs’ transition attack is one of the most efficient groups in the country, especially with Chet Holmgren’s development. The 7-foot, five-star unicorn is an elite defensive rebounder who leads fast breaks on his own.

Nevertheless, San Francisco’s unit is sound at cutting off transition opportunities. Its pressure defense limits cuts well too, which the Bulldogs run at a high rate. As long as Gonzaga doesn’t dominate the offensive glass, USF can keep the score closer than anticipated.

Before determining if the Dons are apart of my college basketball best bets in the rematch, let’s see if the market bets Gonzaga up first.

  • Update: USF +11 never popped at legal sportsbooks, so I ended up on the closing line.

Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: San Francisco +10.5 (-110; 0.50 units)
Best Available Line: San Francisco

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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