College Basketball Betting – Kansas Jayhawks vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The college basketball matchup between the Kansas Jayhawks and Gonzaga Bulldogs is in a way the de facto national championship game from a season ago. The teams finished last season ranked first and second in the national polls before March Madness was shuttered due to the COVID outbreak, denying Gonzaga a chance for its first national title. The Bulldogs open the new season right where they left off at No. 1 in the preseason polls with the Jayhawks at No. 6. Both programs possess outstanding depth, which should help them in a season that’s sure to have obstacles along the way.  Bookmaker.eu offers a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600).

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date and Time: Thursday, November 26, 2020, 1:30 p.m. ET
Location: Suncoast Credit Union Arena, Fort Myers, FL
Opening College Basketball Odds: Gonzaga -4, O/U (check back later)
Kansas vs. Gonzaga TV Coverage: FOX

Odds Analysis

Kansas ended last season winning its final 16 games and likely would have been the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks move forward without two top players from the squad that went 28-3 overall and 17-1 in the Big 12. Kansas was 19-12 ATS last season with the UNDER at 20-11. Gonzaga finished last season on a nice run capturing another WCC Tournament championship with their fourth straight win. They lost just one game over the last three-plus months of the season finishing at 31-2 SU and 17-16 ATS. The NCAA leader in scoring and offensive efficiency the Zags were 27-6 against the OVER.

Kansas Jayhawks

It’s going to take time for Bill Self to figure out the makeup of his team. And he doesn’t have the luxury of exhibition games to work out the kinks. The Jayhawks jump right into the new season against the top team in the land minus their two leading scorers from last year. Gone are star point guard Devon Dotson, who led the team with 18.1 points per game, and standout big man Udoka Azubuike. Taken with the 27th pick in the draft, Azubuike averaged 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds a season ago.

The Jayhawks may not be as stocked at the top of the roster, but the team has plenty of depth, more than in any of Self’s previous seasons at KU. That could be the most important part of the team given the probability of players forced to sit due to COVID protocols. Marcus Garrett is the top returning player after averaging 9.7 points and a team-best 4.6 assists a season ago.

Ochai Agbaji is the top returning scorer and will play a bigger role offensively as a perimeter threat. Just how quickly the team develops will be up to prospects Bryce Thompson, Dajuan Harris and Jalen Wilson. “We are missing a lot of key pieces from last year, but I think we just have a new team, a little bit younger, one that’s hungry to play, hungry to win. And I think it’s going to be a really good year for us,” Wilson said.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

About the only thing the Zags haven’t done under Mark Few is win a national championship. They were primed for another long tournament run last season until March Madness was cancelled. They’ll give it another go, though without WCC Player of the Year Filip Petrusev. No problem, Few will just plug the hole with another solid frontcourt player and just like Kansas the Zags can go deep down the bench without sacrificing much in terms of production on the court. Drew Timme is the ready-made replacement for Petrusev with 7-footers Oumar Ballo and Pavel Zakharov waiting for their chance to shine.

Timme was one of Gonzaga’s most productive players last season averaging 19.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per 40 minutes. The per game numbers will only increase with more playing time. Corey Kispert elected to return for his senior season giving the Zags an impressive backcourt. Kispert was second on the team behind Petrusev averaging 13.8 points per game. He’s joined by Joel Ayayi, who averaged 10.6 points.

The Zags have been the best team in college basketball the last two years shooting and scoring the basketball ranking No. 1 in offensive efficiency. And they show no signs of letting up. The inside-outside game has been a staple of the offense for years and the team is loaded in both areas once again. Adding to the team’s depth is the addition of grad transfer Aaron Cook, a two-way guard and strong defender who started 70 games at Southern Illinois.

Bet Kansas vs. Clemson at BookMaker.eu

With no exhibition games there are a lot of unknowns, especially on the Kansas side. At least the Zags have some continuity with their returning players, and they’re pretty good. It will take time for the Jayhawks to infuse new players into the lineup and they just don’t have that at the start of the season, which is why taking Gonzaga minus the points is the smart play.

College Basketball Score Prediction: Gonzaga 78, Kansas 66

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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