By Jordan Horrobin | | 3 mins
Gonzaga vs Duke Free Picks & Predictions for Las Vegas Showdown
Thanksgiving weekend is one of the great weekends on the sports calendar, and this year’s headliner in the college basketball world pits No. 1 Gonzaga against No. 5 Duke on Friday in Las Vegas at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. local time).
Both teams are 6-0, and all of those wins have come by at least eight points. The top-ranked Bulldogs are 8.5-point favorites on betting apps against the underdog Blue Devils.
Odds are current as of publication. betting sites may indicate odds changes closer to kickoff.
5 Keys to Gonzaga vs Duke
Home away from home: Gonzaga typically calls Spokane, Washington, its home, but this marks its third consecutive game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’s a “neutral site,” sure, but the Bulldogs are a two-hour flight away. Durham, North Carolina, home of Duke, is three time zones away and twice as long of a flight.
West Coast, “best” coast?: Additionally on the travel, this will be Duke’s only game on the West Coast all season. Each of their other 30 games are played on Eastern Time, and each of their past five games have come at home. Gonzaga, meanwhile, has only played out west so far.
Inside game: The more this game is played inside the arc, the better it will be for Gonzaga. The Bulldogs have the best two-point shooting percentage in the country (67.1%), which probably has something to do with the three contributors who are 6-foot-10 or taller (Drew Timme, Chet Holmgren and Ben Gregg).
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First-time favorites: This is the fifth meeting between Duke and Gonzaga since 2006, and it’s the first time the Bulldogs are favored. Duke has won three of the previous four matchups straight up, but Gonzaga earned an 89-87 victory when they last met in 2018 (Gonzaga was a 7.5-point underdog).
Banchero at his best: If Duke hopes to stop Gonzaga’s big men, then 6-foot-10 forward Paulo Banchero will need to be at the top of his game again. The Washington state native is coming off a 28-point performance, where he shot 10-of-19 from the floor and added eight rebounds and six assists.
Gonzaga vs Duke Best Bet
Look, Duke is great. They took care of business against Kentucky on opening night, and they haven’t faltered against a handful of lesser opponents since. But Gonzaga is on another planet right now.
Gonzaga is excelling with conviction every time they step on the court. Look at Tuesday’s game, when they dominated No. 2 UCLA in an 83-63 win. Take Gonzaga on the moneyline (-385) if you must, but we love any single-digit spread that sportsbooks are willing to offer — regardless of opponent.
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