BYU lost in the NIT semifinals last season and is focused on securing an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament this year. The problem for the Cougars is the fact that they are 4-6 SU and ATS versus .730 or greater opposition, 0-7 ATS as underdogs and 1-7 ATS following consecutive conference tournament wins. Meanwhile, Gonzaga has cut down the nets in ten of the last 13 years in the WCC Tournament and stands at a remarkable 29-4 SU in the conference tournament. The experts at Pro Edge Sports have you covered with a detailed West Coast Conference Championship game preview below.
Fundamental Analysis: Gonzaga:
Gonzaga is averaging 77.0 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 71.8 points per game, thereby making the Bulldogs 5.2 points per game better than average offensively this season. The Bulldogs are shooting 49.7% from the field and 39.3% from beyond the arc so Mark Few’s squad is extremely efficient on the offensive end of the floor.
Meanwhile, Gonzaga is allowing 65.1 points per game to teams that would combine to average 73.4 points per game, thereby making the Bulldogs 8.3 points per game better than average defensively this season. More importantly, the Bulldogs are limiting conference opponents to a mere 61.8 points per game (39.0% FG), while yielding just 59.6 points over their last five games (36.4% FG).
Can BYU Compete with the Bulldogs on Both ends of the Floor?
The short answer is yes as BYU possesses an explosive offense that is averaging 84.8 points per game against teams that would combine to allow just 71.0 points per game. Overall, the Cougars are 14.8 points per game better than average offensively this season, which gives BYU a significant 6.5 points per game advantage over Gonzaga’s stop unit. We also like the fact that BYU is averaging 82.7 points per game on the road and 82.0 points per game versus conference opponents.
BYU’s problem rests with its defense that is allowing 77.1 points per game to teams that would combine to average 73.3 points per game. Even more concerning is the fact that the Cougars are yielding 83.8 points per game on the road this season. However, those concerns are tempered by the fact that BYU is limiting opponents to just 71.6 points per game on 40.5% shooting over its last five games. Overall, Gonzaga possesses a 9.0 points per game advantage at the offensive end of the floor in this game.
The line in this game opened at BYU +4, which we believe is fair based upon our handicapping methodology and math models.