Monday has a slate of games featuring some contenders in play. Overall, though, it’s another slow day in college basketball. There weren’t any ranked teams on the schedule on Sunday. It was a day squarely for the smaller conferences. As far as my picks were concerned yesterday, that wasn’t a card to put on the mantle.
Southern Illinois came just short to cover and Cal Santa Barbara were a no show on the road. Motivation plays a huge role, especially during this Covid-19 season, and the Gauchos had absolutely no intentions of going to UC Irvine and playing a basketball game. They were routed by a score of 75-56. I think UCSB are a better team than that, but we’ll see how they respond.
There are three ranked teams on the floor on Monday night. Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Gonzaga headline the college basketball slate. Gonzaga has a back-to-back the next two days. Following a meeting against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, the Bulldogs have Dixie State on the schedule tomorrow. Those are two creampuffs that Gonzaga should dismantle. However, it’s all about covering the spread in my world.
Gonzaga could beat Dixie State by over 60 points if they want to on Tuesday night. I’m not sure what the point spread is going to be on that game, but they’re not going to be able to set a high enough spread. The Bulldogs might be able to name the score against the Lumberjacks as well. This is an easy stretch over the next two days for Gonzaga, but they’ve pounded some good teams this year. Their latest victim was the Virginia Cavaliers on the road.
The Bulldogs punished Virginia in a 98-75 win to advance to 7-0 on the season. There isn’t a team in the West Coast Conference that can compete with Gonzaga. It’s the Bulldogs and then everyone else. So far it has felt like Gonzaga and everyone else when it comes to the entire NCAA. They will look to avoid a letdown spot on Monday following their win on the east coast against Virginia. Head below for our free Northern Arizona vs. Gonzaga pick on December 28, 2020.
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs NCAAM Betting Odds:
Northern Arizona vs. Gonzaga Prediction:
If Northern Arizona has any chance of keeping this game close, they are going to have to hope that Gonzaga takes this game off. There is a better chance of that happening if this was a sandwich game for Gonzaga. In other words, Northern Arizona was sandwiched between two big games.
However, Gonzaga will have Dixie State tomorrow, so it’s less of a concern. Flying back home after a long trip to the east coast might be something to keep in mind, though. Having said that, Northern Arizona hasn’t been too competitive throughout the season against teams much more inferior than Gonzaga.
They were able to find a win on December 22, with a 68-65 win over the Denver Pioneers. Prior to that win, Northern Arizona were losers in five straight against Arizona, UC Riverside, Colorado State, Eastern Washington, and Texas State. Their only competitive loss was a 70-65 game against the Lumberjacks on December 21.
They were handled easily, especially by Colorado State, 91-52, Arizona, 96-53, and UC Riverside, 74-50. Northern Arizona has scored an average of 58.7 points per game this season. That puts them 323rd out of 353 teams in the NCAA. There aren’t many teams that have been worse offensively than the Lumberjacks.
Offense is necessary to keep up with the Bulldogs, who are second in the NCAA with 95.1 points per game. They are also second with a field goal percentage of 55.7%. Even if Gonzaga isn’t fully interested in this game tonight, they should still be able to name their score against the Lumberjacks. Expect a 95-51 win or thereabout for Gonzaga at home on Monday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.