Pepperdine vs. Gonzaga NCAA Basketball Lines Preview
After taking part in their respective weekend fixtures, the Pepperdine Waves and the Gonzaga Bulldogs will grace our NCAA Basketball lines when they take on each other on Monday, December 21st, starting at 9:00 PM ET, with the game set to be televised on ESPN2. For all college basketball betting enthusiasts, find an early game preview of this top-tier matchup in the section below.
A Look At The Waves vs Bulldogs NCAA Basketball Lines Preview
— WWWWWaves (@PeppBasketball) December 19, 2015
Why Bet on the Waves
After a rough start to the season that saw them lose four of their first six games, the Waves (6-4) have seemingly found some consistency in their game and are entering the weekend game against Louisiana on a four-game winning streak. The awakening in the Pepperdine team has been down to an all-rounded effort from the entire squad (including starters and the bench), though no one can deny that guard Lamond Murray Jr. (team-bests of 14.8 PPG and 52.5 field goal percentage) has been the leader in the team.
If Murray, Shawn Olden, Jeremy Major and Stacy Davis can approach this game with the same seriousness they’ve showcased in their last four games, there is little doubt that the streaking Waves will be a force to reckon with on Monday.
Why Bet on the Bulldogs
The last time the Bulldogs played the Waves, it was in the 2014-15 West Coast Conference tournament semifinal, a game the Zags won 79-61 to advance into the WCC tournament finals. A good number of the players who shined in that game (including Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis) are still present in the Bulldogs team, offering the hosts another chance to beat the visiting Waves.
As a concern, though, this year’s Zags no longer have the offensive umph that made them a feared team last season. Yes, Wiltjer (team-best average of 20.3 PPG) is still a star forward and Sabonis (64.4 field goal percentage) is equally lethal on the forward role, as was showcased when Sabonis had 21 points and 13 boards, and Kyle Wiltjer added 18 points and 11 rebounds on Monday Night to help the Zags beat St. Martin’s 86-50. However, the Zags have had major injury concerns throughout the season, so fluency has been an issue in the team. In turn, that has led to a drop-off in offensive production, with the Zags averaging just 75.1 PPG (tied for 153rd in the nation).
Not to mention, Gonzaga (7-3) has already lost three games this season, which is already way more than they lost last season en route to a deep contention in the Tourney. The Zags will thus need more than just Wiltjer and Sabonis to shine if they are to stop the surging Waves from pulling an upset win this Monday.
My Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Although injuries are still a concern in Gonzaga, the hosts can take comfort in the fact that they have one of the best rebounding units in the nation, averaging 43.0 RPG entering the weekend games. With this solid rebounding unit, the Zags will most likely win the battle for second chance opportunities, offering Gonzaga a better chance of coming out on top with the win. However, you can expect Pepperdine to hang real tight, better than they did back in March.
My Final Score Prediction: Gonzaga 79, Pepperdine 76.