By Jordan Horrobin | | 3 mins
Alabama vs Gonzaga Picks & Predictions: Can Tide Upset Bulldogs?
Less than 10 days ago, Gonzaga was the consensus top college basketball team in the nation: unbeaten, steamrolling every team in their way (including No. 5 UCLA). There was little doubt the Bulldogs would be a force come March Madness.
Since then, the Bulldogs took a loss to Duke and played a much-too-close-for-comfort game against Tarleton State (yes, that’s a real school). Gonzaga has only dropped to No. 3 in the latest AP poll, but they have plenty to prove in Saturday’s matchup against No. 16 Alabama (tipoff at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. local time).
Gonzaga is an 8.5-point favorite on betting apps, just as it was against Duke. We’ll see if the results differ this time around.
The college basketball odds for this matchup, as well as our college basketball picks are below. And if you are a first-time bettor eyeing this game, check out the Caesars Sportsbook promo code for a first-bet match up to $1,001.
Odds are current as of publication. betting sites may indicate odds changes closer to kickoff.
5 Keys to Gonzaga vs Alabama
Another almost-home game for the Bulldogs: Gonzaga hasn’t been racking up a ton of frequent flyer miles so far this year, given that all of their games have been on the West Coast in either Las Vegas or Spokane, Washington (where their campus is). This game is in Seattle, which is an hour flight from Spokane. Alabama will need to take a flight of roughly seven hours for its first West Coast game of the year.
Don’t blink: Points should not be at a premium in this match because both teams love to play fast. Gonzaga and Alabama are both in the top 20 in the country in shortest average offensive possessions.
Inside the arc: Watch out for a lot of scoring at the elbows and around the rim. Gonzaga ranks first in NCAA hoops in 2-pt. shooting percentage (66.6%), and Alabama isn’t far behind at seventh (59.8%).
Risk Free Bet up to $1,500
Coming in hot: While Gonzaga with a loss and a narrow win in its past two games, Alabama is playing its best ball of the young season. The Crimson Tide smoked Miami (FL) on Sunday, 96-64, thanks to a plus-19 rebound advantage and 16 made 3s.
Tall task for two freshmen: Gonzaga runs a lot of its offense through Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme, who are 7-feet and 6-foot-10, respectively. Alabama has a 7-footer and a 6-foot-11 player on its side, but both are true freshman and only one plays regular rotation minutes (Charles Bediako).
Alabama vs Gonzaga Best Bet
Though we pointed out that both teams excel with the inside game, Alabama’s ability to shoot 16-for-30 (53.3%) from 3-pt. range last game reveals a compelling layer to its offense that could be useful in this matchup.
Gonzaga is probably still the better team, but our confidence in them is wavering a bit right now. And against the spread they’re only 4-4 this season. That’s why we like the cushion that sportsbooks are giving Alabama as an 8.5-point underdog.
Risk-Free Bet up to $1,000