Gonzaga hails from Washington state, while the Texas Tech Red Raiders are obviously from Texas. But on Saturday, these two teams will play in Phoenix, Arizona, in a game that is scheduled to start at 10:00 AM Pacific time. With an early start time and difficult opponents on both sides of the game, there will be plenty of challenges for each team to overcome in this battle of teams that are in the top-25 and expected to stay there for the majority of the season.
Both teams in this Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders game have had their share of wins and losses in big games so far this year. But when both teams are at their best, they are among the most explosive teams in the country on the offensive end of the floor. This game could very well come down to which team can string together enough stops to slow down an opponent that comes with an elite offense.
Gonzaga Bulldogs – Looking For A Bounce Back
The Gonzaga Bulldogs have played just two games so far in December, losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide and beating Merrimack in the lead up to this contest. Gonzaga is the fifth-ranked team in the country prior to the tip off of this game, as they carry an 8-2 record into this contest against Texas Tech. But Gonzaga’s recent losses have come against ranked foes, with the Bulldogs losing to Duke and Alabama within their last four games, and they will need to be better against this ranked opponent.
While Gonzaga has a pair of elite bigs in Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren, the question is always whether that duo can do enough against power conference teams that are a bit more physical. While Texas Tech doesn’t have the nation’s best bigs to contend with, they do have Oral Roberts transfer Kevin Obanor, who proved during last year’s NCAA Tournament that he can be a force. Gonzaga will need to avoid being put off by Obanor and the rest of the Red Raiders frontcourt.
Expected Line-Up: Andrew Nembhard, Rasir Bolton, Julian Strawther, Chet Holmgren, Drew Timme
with best odds
Texas Tech Red Raiders – First Major Test
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are 8-1 this season, and have broken into the top-25 in the college basketball rankings. Their lone loss of this season came against the Providence Friars, after which the Red Raiders bounced back with a win over the Tennessee Volunteers. Here, the Red Raiders face their toughest test of the season thus far, as they square off with a Gonzaga team that can put points on the board in so many ways.
For Texas Tech, a lack of major tests could be a real issue coming into this game, as their schedule hasn’t been impressive so far. Outside of Providence and Tennessee, the Red Raiders haven’t played any other power conference opponents so far this year. Gonzaga is the best team that they have faced by far, which could be a serious problem for a Texas Tech team that may not be as good as they have looked so far.
Expected Line-Up: Kevin McCullar, Terrence Shannon Jr., Davion Warren, Bryson Williams, Kevin Obanor
Expert Pick #1 – Gonzaga -9 @ -110
The first bet to place on this game is Gonzaga -9 at -110 odds. While the Bulldogs have had their struggles against top-notch competition this season, Texas Tech might not be an elite team at all right now. The Red Raiders have yet to face tests on the level of the Bulldogs, and they could very well be in for a shock when they face off with the Zags here.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 146.5 @ -105
The second bet worth placing on this contest between Gonzaga and Texas Tech is the under 146.5 at -105 odds. Gonzaga will always put points on the board, but there hasn’t been much of an indication that Texas Tech can score with the best teams in college basketball. Texas Tech failed to break 60 points in their win over Tennessee, and they may try to slow things down to keep up with Gonzaga here.
Expert Pick #3 – Texas Tech Under 68.5 Points @ -110
Finally, a bet on Texas Tech under 68.5 points at -110 odds is a good way to go. Texas Tech is unlikely to want to push the pace against a team like Gonzaga, which can really punish teams for trying to play at their preferred pace. Expect the Red Raiders to try to slow things down in an attempt to minimize the number of possessions that Gonzaga gets, helping the under.
Gonzaga should win this game in a big way, against a Texas Tech team that could be in for a rude awakening during the early start in Phoenix. Expect Gonzaga to cover the number, and for the game to go under the total.