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No. 1 Gonzaga Favored In Showdown With No. 2 UCLA

Drew Timme's Bulldogs are favored in the Gonzaga vs UCLA odds - Nov. 23.

The two best teams in college basketball according to the pollsters will clash at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Tuesday. This Good Sam Empire Classic clash features the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (5-0 SU, 3-2 ATS), who are solid favorites, against the second-ranked UCLA Bruins (5-0, 3-2). This is a rematch of last year’s Final Four semifinal game in which Gonzaga edged UCLA 93-90 in overtime but failed to cover the spread as a 14.5-point favorite before losing in the national championship.

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs UCLA Bruins
  • Date/Time: November 23, 10 p.m. ET
  • Arena: T-Mobile Arena    
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Gonzaga -4.5 | O/U 156.5 (Line History)
  • Gonzaga vs UCLA Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Both of these teams played Monday night, with the Bulldogs having a much easier time with their opponent than the Bruins. Gonzaga routed the Central Michigan Chippewas 107-54 and covered the spread easily as a 34-point favorite while UCLA defeated the Bellarmine Knights 75-62 but fell short of beating the number as 22.5-point chalk.

The point spread is already up to -5.5 in favor of the Bulldogs and could rise even more based on their dominance, with five players scoring in double figures. Gonzaga blew out Bellarmine 92-50 on Friday as well and covered as a 31-point favorite as an example for bettors looking for a rare common opponent between these teams early in the season.

Gonzaga News & Notes

The Bulldogs actually outscored the Chippewas more in the second half (51-22) than in the first (56-32) and got a chance to give their starters a lot of rest too. Gonzaga leading scorer Drew Timme logged only 15 minutes and still totaled 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and seven rebounds while star freshman Chet Holmgren scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and added three blocked shots in 20 minutes.

Just one of the Bulldogs starters played more than 20 minutes, and 14 players overall saw the court. They had an overwhelming 51-23 rebounding advantage as well, and the only real concern was the team’s shooting from the free-throw line (14 of 24 for 58.3 percent).

UCLA News & Notes

The Bruins had a much different second half vs the Knights, and it will be interesting to see if that affects them at all in this spot against the top team in the country. UCLA outscored Bellarmine 39-37 after the intermission and did not shoot particularly well as a team overall at 45.2 percent (33 of 73).

In fact, just one of the starters shot better than 50 percent from the field, with senior center Myles Johnson connecting on four of six attempts to finish with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Junior guard Johnny Juzang scored a team-high 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting, and he and his teammates will need to be much better vs Gonzaga in order to have a chance to pull off the SU upset.

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How Gonzaga Will Cover

The Bulldogs simply need to pick up where they left off on Monday to cover the spread for the third straight time. Their starters should be well-rested and ready to go – it is just a matter of rising to the occasion and staying hot against a much better opponent in UCLA.

How UCLA Will Cover

The Bruins were able to hang tough and nearly hand their opponent its first loss a year ago by controlling the boards and shooting a high percentage from the field. UCLA out-rebounded Gonzaga 32-26 and made almost 58 percent of its shots (34 of 59), including 47 percent (8-for-17) from three-point range. A similar performance will lead to another cover.

Computer Pick: Gonzaga -5.5

This is a gigantic game and you can see the NCAAB prediction for this one but go to our college basketball computer picks page for more betting picks.

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Shark Bites
  • UCLA is 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS in its last 11 games.
  • The UNDER is 6-3 in Gonzaga’s last 9 games.
  • Gonzaga is 36-1 SU in its last 37 games.