Many programs in college basketball would kill to be 17-6 at this point in the season, but Mark Few’s team finds themselves in a tough spot heading into the February 10th Gonzaga at Kentucky betting matchup. The ‘Zags need a signature win on Saturday to help their at-large NCAA Tournament resume after falling two games back of St. Mary’s in the WCC.
#17 Kentucky (16-6) would also like a win as some defensive inefficiencies have caused them to lose two of their last three. The Wildcats are still the #1 scoring team in the country (89.7) but teams are figuring out how to counter their fast pace of play. UK is still a -4.5 home favorite for Saturday’s contest however.
Why Gonzaga Has Value at +4.5
The ‘Zags have had a down year – by their standards – but that’s what happens when your program has won 28 or more games in 11 straight seasons. The Bulldogs can still get an automatic bid to the tournament by winning the WCC Tournament, and Saturday’s meeting in Lexington looks like one of those “chip on your shoulder” games that Gonzaga could very easily win outright.
The Bulldogs have two conference losses to St. Mary’s, but those defeats have come by a combined 3 points. A couple bounces go the other way and we’re looking at a team that comes into the Kentucky game on a 10-game win streak. Gonzaga rebounded from their most recent loss to the Gaels with a 96-64 win over Portland on Wednesday.
It’s safe to say Gonzaga doesn’t have the star power it did in recent seasons, but this is still a team with nice offensive balance that puts up 84.7 ppg and shoots the 5th best in the country from the field at 50.7%. Kentucky has allowed 94+ points in two of their last three so the Bulldogs could thrive here.
Why Kentucky Has Value at -4.5
This is the second straight season that these two teams are meeting up, and it could easily be a series where blowouts are flip-flopped. The Bulldogs won 88-72 last year in Spokane to easily cover the -4 point spread and it wouldn’t be a shocker if the Wildcats returned the favor in the 2024 meeting.
Kentucky will miss the 20 points and 15 rebounds they got from Oscar Tschiebwe in last year’s Gonzaga meeting, but the Bulldogs had three players score 20+ points in that game that are no longer with the program.
UK has the #1 scoring offense and rank 5th in the KenPom offensive efficiency ratings. Five Kentucky players score at least a dozen points per game. UK has put up 90+ points in five of their last seven, do the ‘Zags have the offense to keep up with that pace?
Free February 10th Gonzaga at Kentucky Betting Preview
Gonzaga has seemingly failed every major test they’ve faced this year except for maybe wins over UCLA and USC, but Kentucky has also lost two of their last three and and are just 4-4 over their last 8. You can flip a coin on the side here, so the best bet on this game is for another high scoring UK contest.
Free Pick: Over 169.5