The #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (5-0) matchup against the #2 UCLA Bruins (5-0) in a showdown of top teams and rematch of last year’s Final Four thriller. The two heavyweights are playing in the Good Sam Empire Classic, a two-day event in Las Vegas. On Monday, Gonzaga defeated Central Michigan, 107-54, while the Bruins downed Bellarmine, 75-62.
Tuesday’s contest tips off at 10 p.m. EST inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Gonzaga is a 5.5-point favorite over the Bruins, and the over-under total is at 156.5 points.
What to Know – Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga has looked the part of a national championship contender in the early going this season with double-digit victories in all five contests. The Bulldogs have yet to be challenged, and their closest game is a 12-point win over Texas after building a 20-point halftime lead.
Through the first month of action, Gonzaga is averaging 93.2 points behind 55.5% shooting from the field and 35.1% from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Bulldogs are holding teams to 59.6 points per game, 37.8% shooting from the floor, and 30.5% from three.
Chet Holmgren poured in 19 points to lead the Bulldogs in scoring in Monday’s victory. Julian Strawther chipped in 15, and Drew Timme and Rasir Bolton added 11 points apiece.
Gonzaga is 3-2 against the spread this season and 1-0 ATS on a neutral site. The total has gone under in six of Gonzaga’s last nine games, including a 2-3 mark this year.
What to Know – UCLA Bruins
The Bruins are also undefeated and playing at a high level as they face their toughest test this season. UCLA is already battled-tested, having gone to overtime against Villanova in a thrilling 86-77 victory earlier this month.
UCLA scores 90.8 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the floor and 39.7% from the arc. The Bruins defense is surrendering 67.8 points a contest and holding teams to 43.3% shooting from the field and 38.7% from the 3-point line.
Peyton Watson came off the bench and led the Bruins in scoring with 19 points in yesterday’s route of the Knights. Johnny Juzang and David Singleton added 13 points each, and Myles Johnson scored nine while grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Bruins are 3-2 ATS this year and 0-1 on a neutral floor. UCLA is 2-4 ATS over their last six games against Gonzaga.
The Pick is In
College basketball fans get an early treat with the top two teams going at it this early in the season. The two West Coast opponents have only played six times in school history, with the Zags holding a 4-2 advantage.
UCLA has more chemistry right now and will want to avenge that overtime loss to Gonzaga in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga’s team will only get better this year, but we will side with the Bruins and the points this early in the season and hope UCLA defends better on the perimeter.
Betting Pick: UCLA Bruins +5.5