Gonzaga at Portland Prediction - Basketball Picks 1/28/23

Portland Pilots (11-12) vs Gonzaga Bulldogs (17-4)

Game Info: Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 7:00 pm (Earle A. Chiles Center)

Betting Odds: Portland Pilots +11 -- Over/Under: 135 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Gonzaga Bulldogs will cross the state border to face the Portland Pilots in WCC action from the Chiles Center. This was once a competitive series before Gonzaga imploded, and the Zags hold a head-to-head lead of, 96-48.

Gonzaga improved to 17-4 after beating Pacific in Stockton. The Zags found themselves tied at the break with the Tigers, but a strong second half would push them over the top with a nine-point victory. Gonzaga scores 86.5 points per game, while allowing 73.7 ppg, and shooting 51.8% from the floor.

The Zags are still winning ball games, but there appears to be a shift going on in the West Coast Conference. Teams are really playing up to Gonzaga, and the LMU defeat showed if you stick around just long enough, anything can happen. Now that’s no reason to right up the reigning powerhouse, but with a trip to Moraga and a duel with St. Mary’s looming next weekend, they’ve got some things to clean up. Drew Timme remains one of the premier players in the country, and he hung a season-high 38 points on Pacific last time out. Timme leads the Zags in scoring (22.1) and rebounding (7.6) again this season. Fellow senior Anton Watson joins him up front, and he posted a double-double against the Tigers to bring his season totals to 10.2 ppg and 5.8 rpg. Junior guard Julian Strawther has provided steady production thus far, and he’s scoring 13.5 ppg, while grabbing 7.1 rpg. 

Portland moved to 11-12 after losing to LMU in Los Angeles. The Pilots kept things close early, but the Lions would pull away with a big second half, and take home the 19-point win. Portland scores 76.9 points per game, while allowing 77.1 ppg and shooting 45.7% from the floor.

Portland’s about to find out the hard way what happens when you tick off the bear. The Pilots lost by 40 points in Spokane two weeks ago, and they could be in for another long night. Tyler Robertson runs the show for Portland. The 6’6 swingman scored 23 points in the win over USF, and he’s posting a well-rounded line of 14.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and a team-lead 5.4 apg. Junior forward Moses Wood went for a season-high 26 points against USD, and he leads the Pilots in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (6.1). Kristina Sjolund joins him up front, and after double-doubles versus Gonzaga and San Francisco, he’s up to 12.5 ppg and 5.1 rpg.

Gonzaga is 5-14-1 against the spread this season, with a 11-9 over/under record. Portland is 10-11 ATS this year, with a 12-9 o/u record.

You have to wonder, have the books given up on Gonzaga? This margin looks laughable until you dive in between the lines, and you notice either the talent gap between Gonzaga and the field isn’t as large, or their inability to defend has become that alarming. If you put the LMU loss aside, road wins over USF, BYU, Santa Clara and Pacific have all been by less than double figures. I know one thing for sure, I won’t bet against a Bulldogs team that just beat the Pilots by 40 points two weekends ago. I’ll die on the hill with Gonzaga here, and take their spread for this WCC matchup.

Corey’s Pick Gonzaga -11

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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