Past Expert Picks
This will be Pepperdine’s first WCC game of the season, while the undefeated Zags are playing their fourth. The Zags are taking smart shots as usual and hitting 55.6 percent. This is the highest I can remember from a Gonzaga squad, but their defensive pressure isn’t as good as past teams. Pepperdine has been getting gutted by teams like Northridge, UCSB and Bakersfield -- 0-3 ATS their last three lined games. Look for the Zags to cover the big number Thursday.
Pepperdine @ Gonzaga | 01/15 | 2:00 AM UTC
Needless to say, who wins this game isn't in question. The Waves haven't played since Dec. 23 -- hey, well-rested! -- due to COVID issues. The lone reason I am taking so many points is that the Zags might be looking ahead to their annual toughest WCC game of the season: At Saint Mary's on Saturday. Coach Mark Few will get his starters out as early as possible in this one to gear up for the Gaels. Pepperdine is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring, averaging just over 96 points per game. They have size, depth and athleticism, but have struggled on defense. Still, the Bulldogs have played some tough opponents already and cruised to easy victories. Gonzaga has dominated Pepperdine, winning 39 straight matchups. The Waves haven't won at Gonzaga since 1998 and their last win over the Bulldogs was in 2002. Gonzaga should own the boards and will control this game from start to finish. Points should be plentiful.