Okay MyBookie college basketball betting enthusiasts, you can expect what promises to be a thrilling affair when the 11th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers look to pull off the big upset over the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs on Wednesday. While the Zags are getting a ton of media attention for their pair of impressive season-opening wins over two nationally-ranked title contenders, West Virginia enters this matchup riding the wave of a three-game winning streak.
West Virginia replaces No. 12 Tennessee in the Jimmy V Classic after the Vols withdrew from the event following multiple positive tests within the program, including one by coach Rick Barnes. Now, let’s find out which team is offering the best betting value against their College Basketball odds in this intriguing matchup.
NCAA Basketball Predictions – No. 1 Gonzaga at No. 11 West Virginia
Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-0) Vs West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0) Match Info
- When: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM ET
- Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
- NCAAB Odds: TBD
Why Bet On No. 15 West Virginia
Up from 15th in the preseason rankings, now, 11th-ranked West Virginia is off to a solid 3-0 start . The Mountaineers, who replace Tennessee in this tournament, got past South Dakota State 77-71 in their regular season opener on Nov. 26 before beating a much better VCU squad 78-66 the following day. West Virginia took out Western Kentucky 70-64 on Friday to win the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic as Derek Culver scored a team-high 15 points. The Mountaineers got 14 points from Miles McBride and 12 points from Taz Sherman while rallying back from a 10-point deficit to get the win.
“I’m really just trying to let the game come to me and just hoping the shots come,” McBride said. “Coach tells me to shoot them, and I shoot with a lot of confidence. If the shot’s there, I’m going to take it.”
West Virginia is averaging 75.7 points per game despite shooting a tepid 41.1 percent from the field. The Mountaineers are limiting their opponents to 67.0 points per game defensively.
Why Bet On No. 1 Gonzaga
Make no mistake about it, the top-ranked Bulldogs have looked every bit like the best team in the country through two games. First, Gonzaga blitzed No. 6 Kansas 102-90 in their regular season opener on Nov. 26 before taking out a very good Auburn team 90-67 the following day. Now, putting up an average of 96.0 points per game, the Bulldogs already have belief that can beat anyone.
“We feel we can score on anybody,” forward Drew Timme said. “We’ve got great coaching. If we execute our offense and move the ball and not get stymied, we feel we can score on every team.”
Timme is averaging 26.5 points per game while Corey Krispert is putting up 24.0 points per contest. Freshman star Jalen Suggs is already averaging 18.0 points per game while Joel Ayayi is averaging 10.0 points per game.
There’s some bad news for Gonzaga coming into this contest. Two players were forced to miss Gonzaga’s 90-67 win against Auburn in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tipoff on Saturday after entering the COVID-19 protocol. More importantly, head coach Mark Bulldogs coach Mark Few confirmed that one player had tested positive for coronavirus, while athletic director Mike Roth said the second player was in isolation after contact tracing. Now, those players, and three non-playing members of Gonzaga’s traveling party could all miss this matchup.
“You have to react and stay agile,” Few said. “We followed the COVID protocols of the tournament and the Florida health board down here. They’ve all been great. It’s been very professional. Our guys have been incredibly diligent about following all the rules.”
Expert Analysis and Prediction
While West Virginia is off to a 3-0 start, the fact pf the matter is that two of those victories have come against far inferior opponents. That, combined with Gonzaga’s pair of dominating performances against two elite programs, leads me to believe the Zags are going to handle Bob Huggins’ penchant to full-court press to perfection. The Bulldogs have at least three future NBA performers on their roster and they are arguably the smartest basketball team in the nation.
West Virginia has some terrific players and they have a very good head coach in Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers certainly won’t roll over in this one, but Gonzaga will get the win, in a closer-than-expected finish!
Pick: Gonzaga 82 West Virginia 75
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