Washington vs Gonzaga Odds, Picks and Predictions: Huskies Keep Fighting Against Bulldogs

Gonzaga hasn't been as dominant this year as we're used to, yet it continues to be heavily favored. Washington comes into this matchup as 17-point dogs, but our college basketball picks have the Huskies covering this massive spread.

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2022 11:41 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Keion Brooks Washington Huskies College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies head to Spokane to take on the No. 18 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in NCAA basketball action Friday night.

The Zags have been one of the worst teams in the country against the spread this season, but oddsmakers continue to make them massive favorites. College basketball odds opened with Zaga at -16.5 for this contest with the Over/Under at 148.5. 

Will it be able to live up to lofty expectations tonight and rout the Huskies? I let you know with my best Washington vs. Gonzaga college basketball betting picks and predictions.

Washington vs Gonzaga best odds

Washington vs Gonzaga picks and predictions

The Zags are clearly the better team in this contest, and I don't want to hold their three losses against them too much since they've played the toughest schedule in the country.

That said, even with their high-octane offense and home-court advantage, I have a tough time laying this many points with how they have looked this season.

It seems like oddsmakers haven't yet adjusted to the reality that this season's version of Gonzaga isn't quite as dominant as the last few years. The Bulldogs haven't covered in five straight and are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight.

Now they face a Huskies team that has been very competitive on the defensive end of the floor and are 4-1 straight up and ATS in their last five. Guards Jamal Bey and PJ Fuller are long and aggressive against opposing ball handlers, while 7-foot-1 center Braxton Meah won't be a pushover against Bulldogs' star Drew Timme inside.

Washington ranks 54th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency according to KenPom while holding opponents to a 39.3 FG%. The Huskies probably won't have quite as much success against the Zags, but they should be able to do enough to cover this massive spread.

My best bet: Washington +17 (-113 at Pinnacle)

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Washington vs Gonzaga spread analysis

The Huskies are coming off a 73-63 victory against Colorado where they easily covered as slim 1-point home pups. That allowed them to bounce back from a 1-point loss on the road vs. Oregon State and improved their record to 7-2 SU (5-4 ATS) on the year. 

They are below-average offensively but have been winning thanks to their stingy defense — although they recently lost leading shot blocker Franck Kepnang to a season-ending injury.

That hurts Washington's depth inside, but shouldn't affect its starting lineup much since Meah (6.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in just 20.5 minutes per game) has played more than well enough to earn more minutes.

It was the absence of Meah that seemed to hurt Washington in that recent loss to Oregon State and the junior returned on Sunday to rack up 16 points, seven boards, and three blocks vs. the Buffaloes. 

Gonzaga entered the season with national championship expectations but hasn't quite lived up to that billing. The Bulldogs do have an impressive 16-point victory against Kentucky on their resume, but they also have a narrow defeat to Baylor and double-digit losses to Texas and Purdue. 

While the Longhorns and Boilermakers are two of the better teams in the nation, the Bulldogs haven't looked great against unranked teams. They barely held on to beat Xavier last week, and are coming off a 73-66 win at home against Kent State where they never really pulled away despite entering as 16-point faves. 

The Zags are still one of the better offensive teams in the nation and rank sixth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency.

However, they haven't been great defensively and rank outside the Top 150 schools in opponent effective field goal percentage (49.3%). That said, they have played against some of the top offensive teams in the country which can't be said for Washington. 

Washington vs Gonzaga Over/Under analysis

The Bulldogs are shooting 49.3% from the floor (16th-best in the country) and are led by Timme who averages 19.8 ppg on 62.4 FG%.

However, their ball movement and ability to take care of the ball have dropped off significantly from last year, with the Zags ranking outside the Top 150 in assists per field goal and outside the Top 200 in turnover rate.

Washington has struggled with inconsistent play from its backcourt and it's clear that the team misses departed All-conference guard Terrell Brown.

Kentucky transfer Keion Brooks leads Washington with 16.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, but there isn't much scoring punch around him. 

The Huskies rank just 234th in the country in turnover rate and their 3-point percentage (32.7%) is 210th. That has resulted in a Huskies offense that plays at a below-average pace and ranks 167th in adjusted offensive efficiency.  

Washington vs Gonzaga betting trend to know

Gonzaga is 3-14-2 ATS in its last 19 games overall. Find more College basketball betting trends for Washington vs. Gonzaga.

Washington vs Gonzaga game info

Location: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, WA
Date: Friday, December 9, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: NBC

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