Texas vs Gonzaga Prediction: Expect A Shootout From These Top Teams
Texas vs Gonzaga
Spread: Gonzaga -7.5
Total Points: Over 149.5
Start Time: 10:30 pm
Where to Watch: ESPN
Texas vs Gonzaga Prediction
Friday night (or early Saturday morning, depending on where you live) provided us with our first top-five battle of the young college basketball season, as No. 2 UCLA hosted No. 4 Villanova. We are treated to our second consecutive top-five matchup tonight as the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs host the fifth-ranked Texas Longhorns. Both teams have the talent to win a national championship, but each has its question marks to start the season. Which heavyweight program will emerge victorious in this massive early non-conference battle?
Chris Beard made a lot of enemies in Lubbock when he left his Texas Tech job to head cross-state to coach the Longhorns. Beard’s team is loaded with depth, but like many other teams around the country, it is a roster comprised of many transfers, six of which ranked in ESPN’s list of top 30 impact transfers. Minnesota transfer Marcus Carr was arguably the best guard in the Big Ten last year, and Timmy Allen (Utah) and Tre Mitchell (UMass) were also stars at their former schools. Those three join top-40 recruit Jaylon Tyson and returning starters Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones to form one of the most talented rosters in the country.
There is no talent shortage at Gonzaga, as head coach Mark Few brought in the top recruit in the country (Chet Holmgren), who he will pair with Wooden Award favorite Drew Timme in the frontcourt. This towering duo is reminiscent of the Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins combination from 2016-17 that not many teams in the country could defend. The Bulldogs have made the national title game in two of the last four years, and this could wind up being Few’s best chance at winning that elusive championship.
While each team has loaded rosters that would make most Division I head coaches salivate, they each have intriguing storylines entering the season. Chris Beard has had experience acclimating several transfers on his rosters before, but will this collection of talent mesh well and buy into lesser roles on a loaded team? And with so many teams going “small ball” lately, will Gonzaga’s massive frontcourt have the foot speed and the defensive technique to stay with the opponent’s smaller and quicker players off the dribble? What will Gonzaga’s spacing on the floor look like with such an intimidating post presence?
While playing at the “The Kennel” gives Gonzaga a massive advantage, the better wager is on the over given how many questions we have about each team defensively. Marcus Carr is one of the best isolation guards in the country, and Beard can rely on him to create his own shot any time a possession breaks down. Texas has multiple guards to attack Gonzaga’s defense, and Beard will do a masterful job at identifying the most significant mismatches and exploiting them.
While Beard is known for being a defensive-minded coach, we are not sure even the best defensive coach in the country will have an answer for Timme and Holmgren this year. And while most of the attention will be paid to Gonzaga’s big men, Andrew Nembhard is one of the best returning point guards in the country. Nembhard is joined by two five-star guards (Nolan Hickman, Hunter Sallis) and an All-Big 12 transfer in Rasir Bolton. You know Gonzaga will play with pace, and there will be no shortage of possessions in this game, paving the way for quick shots on both ends and plenty of scoring opportunities.
In the last 37 games the Bulldogs have played against teams with better than a .600 winning percentage, the over has cashed 25 times. Texas’ offense put up 92 points on Houston Baptist on Tuesday, and the over is 17-8 in their last 25 games after scoring 90+ in their previous game. Expect another shootout tonight.
Texas vs Gonzaga Pick
PICK: OVER 151 (-105)