The undefeated and number #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (16-0, 7-0 WCC) continues conference play on Saturday against the Pepperdine Waves (7-7, 3-2 WCC) in a West Coast Conference showdown. Gonzaga blew out the Waves in their last meeting in mid-January, winning 95-70 in Spokane. Saturday’s rematch tips off at 8 p.m. EST inside Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, CA. The Bulldogs are a 21-point favorite against the Waves, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga aims to win their 21st game in a row and improve their start to 17-0. A Bulldogs’ win would extend the nation’s longest winning streak. Gonzaga owns a 2.5 game lead in the WCC standings heading into the weekend.
The Bulldogs rank first in the nation averaging 94.1 points per game. Gonzaga’s offense also ranks first in field goal percentage and ranks second in total assists. Defensively, Gonzaga surrenders 70.1 points per game for a scoring margin of 24.0, second-best in the country.
Senior forward Corey Kispert paces the high-octane offense pouring in 20.5 points per game. Kispert has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and has surpassed 20+ points in eight contests.
Behind Kispert, forward Drew Timme (18.7 ppg), guard Jalen Suggs (14.1 ppg), and guard Joel Ayayi (11.9 ppg) score at an average above double-digits. Timme has been the Bulldogs’ leading scorer in their last two contests.
Gonzaga is 7-8-1 against the spread this season, specifically 0-3 on the road. The Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last five games and 1-5 against Pepperdine in their last six matchups.
What to Know – Pepperdine Waves
The Waves have won three of their last four and split a pair of games against BYU in back-to-back contests. Pepperdine’s win over the Cougars was a statement win for the Waves this season. Pepperdine is a half-game out of second place in the conference standings, with a favorable schedule remaining the rest of the season.
Pepperdine averages 76.1 points per game offensively and allows opponents to score at a rate of 73.4 points per game. The Waves offense runs through forward Kessler Edwards (18.3 ppg) and guard Colbey Ross (16.5 ppg). Edwards scored a team-high 14 points the last time out against the Zags.
Ross has set Pepperdine records for both career points and assists during his time in Malibu. The senior holds more than 25 single-game, single-season, and career records at Pepperdine. Most impressive, Ross has started every game over his four years for the Waves.
Pepperdine has been solid ATS with a 4-0-1 record in their last five games. On the season, the Waves 7-4-1 ATS with a 4-3 mark on their home floor.
The Pick is In
Gonzaga and Pepperdine meet for the second time in just over two weeks, with the Waves trying to turn the tide against the Zags after a 25-point defeat on the road. The Zags have played like the top team in the nation and should be heavily favored in their remaining conference games. Gonzaga should get up early and take care of business, so be wary of a backdoor cover by the Waves if the Zags pump the breaks, but the talent disparity between these two teams is too much.
The Pick: Gonzaga -21