There have been some seasons where three losses would have been a disappointment for Gonzaga over an entire year, but that’s the the Bulldogs are in heading into Peacock Classic betting. #12 Gonzaga (5-2) is up against #10 Baylor (5-2) in this neutral site game from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Sure Gonzaga has two losses, but those have also come against #2 Texas and #4 Purdue. Baylor has lost to #3 Virginia in Las Vegas but their most recent defeat, 96-70 at Marquette as -5 point favorites on Tuesday, is why they are hard to trust getting just +2.5 points vs. the Bulldogs.
Bears Coming Off a Tough Setback
All Baylor had to do on Tuesday was take care of business in Marquette and they may have been the favorite in Peacock Classic betting, but the Golden Eagles used intense defensive pressure to take a 51-25 halftime lead and cruised to a 96-70 win.
It was just one game, but the loss in the Big 12 / Big East Battle now has Baylor facing some questions heading into the meeting with Gonzaga. Baylor had really only had two tests so far this season prior to the visit to Milwaukee, losing to #3 Virginia 86-79 and beating then #8 UCLA 80-75 at the Continental Tire Main Event.
Baylor had risen up to #5 in the Top 25 prior to the loss to Marquette, and they should be alright Friday night against Gonzaga with L.J. Cryer (17.9 ppg) and Adam Flagler (16.9 ppg). Cryer and Flagler were the top two leading scorers for Baylor last season, and freshman Keyonte George has stepped up to score 12+ points in six of his first seven college games.
Gonzaga Continues a Tough Early Season Schedule
The Bulldogs have played the toughest early season schedule in the country, so really it’s kind of a testament to how good this team is that they’ve gone 5-2. Aside from the losses to top 5 teams Texas and Purdue, Gonzaga has also beaten #20 Michigan State, then #4 Kentucky, and a decent Xavier squad.
Gonzaga’s scoring (83.7) is down slightly this season compared to their 88.3 mark that led the country last year. They did lose Chet Holmgren (14.4) and Andrew Nembhard (11.3) to the NBA but Drew Timme is back with Player of the Year potential. Timme is pumping in a career high 20.0 ppg, and he’s got help with Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton both adding over 13.0 ppg.
Strawther had 23 in the win over Xavier and Bolton had 24 in the win over Kentucky so they both have big game potential. That duo (and Timme) have helped Gonzaga be ranked #1 in adjusted offensive efficiency, with Baylor ranked 2nd.
Free Peacock Classic Betting Pick
Will both of these high powered offenses put on a show for the South Dakota crowd on Friday night (O/U 161.5)? The total has dropped a bit from its 165 open but both of these teams can score at will. Gonzaga has allowed 84 points in back to back games with Baylor just giving up nearly 100 to Marquette so both teams should be able to hit the mid 80s here.
Free Pick: Over 161.5