Loyola Marymount Bidding for Sweep
It seems fair to suggest that Loyola Marymount has the attention of West Coast Conference heavyweight Gonzaga after the Lions stunned Gonzaga last month to end the Bulldogs’ 75-game home winning streak.
Loyola Marymount is best known for the high-scoring Paul Westhead-coached teams a few decades ago. However, defense and a methodical brand of basketball proved to be the difference in the 68-67 win on Jan. 19.
Forward Kaden Perry and guard Joe Few continue to be sidelined for Gonzaga. Dameane Douglas, a double-digit scorer in each of the last two seasons, has yet to play this season for Loyola Marymount.
Gonzaga moved up three spots to No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and went from 16th to 12th in the coaches poll.
According to the college basketball odds, Gonzaga (+3300) is tied for 14th in the odds to win the national championship. Gonzaga (+350) is still behind Saint Mary’s in the odds to win the West Coast Conference title.
Gonzaga is 12th in the latest NCAA NET rankings with Loyola Marymount 98th, so the only way the Lions would earn a spot in the March Madness bracket would be by winning the WCC tournament.
Finding the Range
It is a foregone conclusion that national player of the year candidate Drew Timme will have a major impact in the rematch.
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) February 12, 2023
The issue for the Bulldogs has been inconsistent production from other veteran players.
It was a good sign that Julian Strawther was 4 of 8 from 3-point range in a win over Brigham Young on Tuesday after he was 0 for 6 from distance in the last two games.
Rasir Bolton bounced back from a four-point effort in a loss to Saint Mary’s with 23 points on an 8-on-9 shooting against San Francisco.
If Strawther and Bolton are both feeling it, this becomes a tough team to beat. That certainly wasn’t the case in the first meeting when they were a combined 1 for 7 on 3-pointers.
Gonzaga has covered against the college basketball betting lines in just seven of its last 20 games.
Lions Looking to Roar
Loyola Marymount knows something about executing down the stretch with a 6-3 record in games decided by five points or less.
The Lion’s own wins over Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s thanks to some clutch plays at the most critical times.
The problem has been consistency as Loyola Marymount is 5-6 in the other 11 conference games. The last time out, Loyola allowed Santa Clara to shoot 51% from the field. Those defensive issues will need to be rectified with the top-scoring team in the nation coming to town.
The offense is in good hands as Cam Shelton has 92 points over his last three games while shooting 51.5% from the field. Gonzaga knows all about Shelton after he had 27 points in the first meeting. It was a far cry from last year’s lone meeting when he had five points on 1-of-8 shooting.
Loyola Marymount is 6-2 against the Las Vegas odds in its last eight contests.
Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount Game Injuries
Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount Head-to-Head
Loyola Marymount ended a 25-game losing streak to Gonzaga with its 68-67 road win. The Lions were listed as a 16-point underdog. It was the team’s second straight game to go under the total.
Gonzaga had won the previous 21 matchups by double digits.
The Bulldogs have won the last 10 games when playing at Loyola Marymount, with the Lions’ last home win in the series coming in 2010.
Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount Game Information
- Game: Gonzaga (21-5, 10-2 WCC) vs Loyola Marymount (17-10, 7-6)
- Location: Gersten Pavilion, Los Angeles
- Day/Time: Thursday, Feb. 16, 11:00 p.m. ET
- Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount Live stream: TBS.com
Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount Betting Lines
Gonzaga vs Loyola Marymount Picks and Prediction
Gonzaga leads the country in both scoring and field goal percentage despite the offensive issues in the first meeting against the Lions. Look for the Bulldogs to get out in transition more this time around. The Lions are third in the WCC in scoring defense so they will look to disrupt the Bulldogs once again.
Loyola Marymount has attempted the second most 3-pointers in the conference and also has the best 3-point percentage defense in the WCC. No WCC team has attempted fewer 3-pointers than Gonzaga, so the Bulldogs don’t live and die with the 3-point shot.
Four of Gonzaga’s last six games went over the total and the same thing happened in four of the last five Loyola Marymount contests. A higher-scoring game would play into the hands of the favored Bulldogs.
The game opened with Gonzaga favored by 7½ points and has moved to -8½. It could move again, although it is unlikely to reach double digits by the opening tip.
The Bulldogs are 19-3 when listed by the sportsbook as the favorite while Loyola Marymount is 7-6 as the underdog.
Gonzaga has covered just one of its seven road games. Loyola Marymount is 10-3 against the spread (ATS) at home. The Lions are second in the WCC with a 16-10 mark against the spread and it might surprise some who bet online to realize that more Loyola Marymount games than those played by Gonzaga have gone over the total.
Gonzaga is listed at -405 in our Las Vegas college basketball lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bulldogs, you have a chance to win $25. Loyola Marymount is +325, offering a chance to win $325 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Gonzaga an 80.20% chance to win, with Loyola Marymount at 23.53%.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.