Denver isn’t much of a basketball program – good in hockey – and Friday night figures to be the Pioneers’ bowl game, so to speak, as they travel to No. 8 Gonzaga. The Zags are massive NCAAB odds favorites at our online sportsbook but Denver has played one ranked team tough already in Kansas State.
Denver vs Gonzaga NCAA Basketball Spread & Pick
- When: Friday, 9 PM ET
- Where: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane
- TV: DirecTV
- Live Stream: DirecTV Play
- Radio: TuneIn
- NCAA Basketball Spread: Gonzaga Bulldogs -28 (Total 159.5)
- All: Denver 5-8 / Gonzaga 10-2
- Home: Denver 4-3 / Gonzaga 8-0
- Away: Denver 1-5 / Gonzaga 2-2
- ATS: Denver 3-9 / Gonzaga 8-4
- Over/Under: Denver 6-6 / Gonzaga 8-4
This is the second meeting in the all-time series. Gonzaga won 90-58 on Nov. 24, 2003. Current Denver coach Rodney Billups finished with seven points as the starting point guard in that contest for the Pioneers.
Why Bet on Denver?
The Pioneers (5-8) are off a 76-64 win over Montana State. Denver hit a season-best 15 3s in the win, two shies of tying the Magness Arena record set almost four years ago to the day against Colorado State. The Crimson and Gold also improved to 33-7 (.825) under coach Rodney Billups when holding its foes to 78 points or less in a game.
Ronnie Harrell Jr. led the way with a career-high 24 points with 18 coming from beyond the arc. Tory Stewart-Miller chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds. Joe Rosga moved into seventh place in program history with his nine points, all coming from behind the 3-point line.
The Pioneers have a 33-7 (.825) record under Billups when allowing 78 or fewer points in a contest. DU has held four teams this season to under 65 points this year (3-1), a feat they did 11 times in 2017-18, posting a record of 10-1.
Harrell Jr. leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game, ninth highest in the Summit League. His three double-doubles this year are tied for third most in the Summit League. Rosga ranks first on the team in 3s made per game with a 2.8 average, also good for second in the Summit League.
DU is shooting 44.7 percent from the field on the year. The Pioneers are hitting 3s at a good rate, ranking second in the Summit League in 3-point percentage at 39.7 and 20th in the country. The Crimson and Gold are knocking down 8.3 3s per game, good for fifth in the Summit League.
Why Bet on Gonzaga?
The Bulldogs (10-2) ended a two-game losing streak – coming to No. 7 Tennessee and No. 12 North Carolina – with an 89-55 rout of UT Arlington on Tuesday. Gonzaga rolled up a 53-31 rebounding edge over the visitors from the Sun Belt Conference. UT Arlington, which has lost seven straight, made just 8 of 34 3-point attempts (25.7 percent).
Gonzaga jumped out to a 19-5 lead behind consecutive 3-pointers from Josh Perkins while Texas-Arlington made just two of its first 15 shots. Joel Ayayi’s layup put Gonzaga up 32-12. The Mavericks made just four of their first 22 shots, while Gonzaga was shooting 62 percent. The taller Zags outscored Texas-Arlington 48-16 in the paint. Gonzaga also blocked eight shots, to none for the Mavericks.
Brandon Clarke had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Rui Hachimura added 20 points and 11 boards to lead the Zags. Coach Mark Few said forward Killian Tillie (ankle) and guard Geno Crandall (hand) are still on track to return from injuries in the New Year.
Perkins leads the country with 96 total assists and is third averaging 8.0 assists per game. Clarke is seventh in field goal percentage (69.5), third with 39 blocks and fifth averaging 3.25 blocks per game. The Zags are first with 232 total assists, second in the nation in field goal percentage (52.2 percent) and sixth in scoring offense (93.3).
Since joining the NCAA in 1958-59, the Zags are 12-0 against current Summit League members. GU won its last meeting against a current Summit League foe, beating North Dakota State earlier this season, 102-60.
Denver vs Gonzaga NCAA Basketball Betting Trends
- Pioneers are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games
- Pioneers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win
- Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points
- Bulldogs are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games
- Denver is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games on the road
- Gonzaga is 22-3 SU in its last 25 games
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Gonzaga’s last 12 games
Expert NCAA Basketball Prediction for Denver vs Gonzaga
A lot of points, but Denver isn’t great. Give them.