Gonzaga’s Drew Timme (2) celebrates with Corey Kispert (24) and Joel Ayayi (11) after Timme made a shot and was fouled during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
- Number 16 Virginia (4-1) tips off with top-ranked Gonzaga (6-0) at 4 PM ET on Dec. 26
- Gonzaga is still undefeated while Virginia has only lost once all season
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet, below
Christmas is behind us but the gifts keep coming when the #16 Virginia Cavaliers travel to the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth to take on the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs at 4:00 PM EST on December 26. The game was scheduled last week after Virginia had five games cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns. The Bulldogs have also had a bout with Covid-19 which caused them to cancel or postpone six games.
The two schools have only met three times with Gonzaga winning two of the three although Virginia won the last meeting 108-87 on January 3, 2007. Gonzaga is favored by 7.5 points in this matchup.
Virginia Cavaliers vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Odds
|Virginia Cavaliers||+7.5 (-118)||+265||Over 139.5 (-114)|
|Gonzaga Bulldogs||-7.5 (-104)||-330||Under 139.5 (-106)|
Odds as of December 25th at FanDuel.
Gonzaga Could Go Undefeated
Gonzaga is a runaway freight train at this point in the season and it’s no surprise they still haven’t lost. The Bulldogs are number two in the nation in offensive efficiency and number 13 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom. They have two players, Corey Kispert and Drew Timme, averaging over 20 points per game. They have another player Jalen Suggs who is averaging 16.7 points per game. Simply put, they are an unstoppable force and that was on display the last time they took the floor.
Back-to-back games, back-to-back wins. #UnitedWeZag pic.twitter.com/9QEJ9di00A
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) December 23, 2020
In their last game, they undressed Northwestern State 95-78 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Zags jumped out to a 43-17 halftime lead and never looked back. It was their second game in as many nights against the Demons after beating them 95-57 the first time around nearly covering the absurd 43 point spread.
2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Virginia Is Back In Action
The Virginia Cavaliers had 17 days between games after having to pause the program due to Covid-19 concerns. They lost ten days of practice but even with the delay, they showed no signs of rust in their 76-40 beating of William & Mary Tuesday Night. Trey Murphy lead the way with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists earning Pillar Player of the Game honors.
ℙ𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕒𝕣 ℙ𝕝𝕒𝕪𝕖𝕣 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝔾𝕒𝕞𝕖
🔶⚔️🔷 #GoHoos pic.twitter.com/i6j72vgHY0
— Virginia Men’s Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) December 23, 2020
Anytime a team is away from each other for long stretches a little rust is bound to show but that wasn’t the case for the Cavaliers. Virginia opened the game on a 17-6 run and never looked back. At one point they were up 26-6 as they held the Tribe to only 14 first half points. Defense was the Cavaliers’ calling card as William & Mary could only manage 28% shooting for the game. The Cavaliers forced 14 turnovers and manhandled the Tribe down low holding them to 18 points in the paint.
Best Betting Angle
This game will be a battle of two completely different styles which always makes for interesting matchups. On one side, we have Virginia that plays the absolute slowest pace in the country. On the other side, we have Gonzaga who runs at the fifth fastest pace in the nation.
It’s not just the pace that makes this game so interesting as the battle of strengths are on full display as well. Virginia is currently fifth in defensive efficiency and Gonzaga is second to only Iowa in offensive efficiency. Virginia has not given up more than 64 points in a game all season while Gonzaga has not scored less than 87.
In games like this, I like to back the over since we will be getting a discount. As good as Virginia’s defense is, Gonzaga’s offense isn’t in the same stratosphere as any team Virginia has seen. Virginia can only slow this game down for so long and at some point they will be forced to move faster than under bettors would like.
Pick: Over 139.5 (-110)
John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it.