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Gonzaga vs UCLA: Picks, Preview and Predictions

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Our Expert presents his picks for the must-see regular-season clash between the Gonzaga Bulldogs and UCLA Bruins tonight.

  • NCAAB – Gonzaga Bulldogs vs UCLA Bruins
  • Tuesday, November 23 at T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, NV
  • The game begins at 10 p.m.
  • Broadcast live on ESPN

In what could prove to be the best regular-season game of the entire 2021-22 college basketball schedule, the No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs will take on the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins Tuesday evening at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Vegas will prove to be the center of the college basketball world, as the Maui Invitational hosts its second-round games at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino less than five minutes down the road.

For a full preview, the latest odds, and free picks for the game, read on:

Gonzaga vs UCLA Odds

Below are the latest Gonzaga vs UCLA odds as broadcast on BetUS:

Game Lines

Gonzaga

UCLA

Moneyline -240 +195
Spread -5.5 (-110) +5.5 (-110)
Total Points O156.5 U156.5
Expert Pick Zags -5.5

Bulldogs vs Bruins News

In case this Thanksgiving week is the first time you’ve been able to sit down and really pay attention to the wonderful sport that is college basketball, we’ll breakdown what you’ve missed.

For many teams this early in the season, they haven’t played a team to truly test their talent. However, both the Gonzaga Bulldogs and the UCLA Bruins have top-tier wins, wins that will likely go on each team’s tournament resume come March.

Back on Nov. 12, UCLA hosted fourth-ranked Villanova. The 40 minutes of regulation proved not to be enough for the two neck-and-neck teams. UCLA outscored Villanova 19-10 in the overtime period, helping the Bruins walk away with an 86-77 win.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs had a test of their own when they defeated the then fifth-ranked Texas Longhorns. While I think the Longhorns will slightly overrated due to the hire of Chris Beard from Texas Tech following Shaka Smart leaving for Marquette, Gonzaga took care of business with a double-digit win and were basically in control the entire game. 

In that game, First Team All-American and Preseason National Player of the Year Drew Timme proved to be the team’s primary offensive weapon.

Bulldogs vs Bruins Preview

The Bruins run a four-guard lineup, with Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr. have proven to be quite the tandem once again following the team’s Final Four run last season. Juzang is averaging a team-high 21.5 points per game, up 5.5 points from his sophomore season.

Meanwhile, his partner in crime Jaquez Jr. has stepped up his scoring by almost six per game and is one of the best rebounding guards in college basketball, averaging 7.5 per game.

On the other side, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have come into the 2021-22 season reloaded from their appearance in the national championship game last season. Down Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert from last year’s team, the Bulldogs still found themselves atop the preseason rankings, in part because of their ability to bring in the nation’s top recruit; Chet Holmgren.

Holmgren first became a YouTube sensation when he hit Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry with his own behind-the-back dribble move to blow by the three-time NBA champion and two-time Most Valuable Player for a dunk.

Did I mention Holmgren is listed at 7-feet tall and 195 pounds? That’s kind of important. The big man is vastly skilled. But what I’ve liked about Holmgren to this point has been him knowing his place. He’s averaging just 6.3 field goals per game. He’s a freshman still finding his way on an already successful team.

At a lot of programs, some of the blue chip programs included, a highly-touted freshman will come onto the team and think (perhaps after being told during recruiting) they’re the focal point of a team. While Holmgren works on the rest of his game, the long-range game in particular, him playing third fiddle this early is not the worst thing for the team.

Gonzaga vs UCLA Edges

The Bruins will likely have the advantage at the guard, I think the Bulldogs will have the advantage on the boards and in the paint, whether that means from the scoring aspect or limiting second-chance opportunities for the Bruins, which they have lived off of during last season’s run and early this season.

Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton will be asked to go head-to-head with Juzang and Jaquez Jr. in the backcourt battle.

In case you forgot, this is what happened the last time the two teams faced off. 

Gonzaga vs UCLA Pick

I’m going to enjoy this game purely as a college basketball fan, throwing something on it will just be a bonus.

UCLA had an impressive showing against a team that will likely make noise in the tournament in Villanova. Texas might not live up to the billing of a top-five team, but it’ll find itself in the dance come March as well.

Right now, I think the Bulldogs have simply too much size. I know UCLA’s guards rebound well. But between Timme and Holmgren down low, I don’t think there will be much for second opportunities. While Holmgren awaits his long-range game to translate to this level, his paint protection has been superb; averaging 3.5 blocks per game.

Give me the Bulldogs -5.5.

Zach is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He got his degree in journalism from Indiana State University. Even in his downtime, Zach enjoys researching for his next bet.

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