It is very early in the college basketball season, but Gonzaga’s showdown with UCLA might wind up being the best game of the year. That is, unless they meet again in the NCAA Tournament.
For starters, we are getting the top two teams in the country, as per the current national rankings. We are also getting a rematch from last year's Final Four, which Gonzaga won with a memorable buzzer-beater. (Look away, UCLA fans)
Lastly, we are getting teams that are off to good starts and have proven they deserve their rankings with good wins over ranked opponents.
Gonzaga Bulldogs (5-0) vs UCLA Bruins (5-0), ESPN, 10:00 p.m. ET Gonzaga Bulldogs vs UCLA Bruins College Basketball Betting Odds Moneyline Gonzaga Bulldogs -275 UCLA Bruins +220 Total OVER 155.5 (-115) UNDER 155.5 (-105) Spread Gonzaga Bulldogs -7 (-106) UCLA Bruins +7 (-114) Gonzaga Bulldogs vs UCLA Bruins college basketball betting odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Gonzaga vs UCLA Betting Preview
The Zags have rolled over their early competition. The only result worth honing in on is their home win over Texas. They were in complete control of that game and Drew Timme was dominant. He might not be an NBA prospect but he is the frontrunner for the various Player of the Year awards.
Since these teams met last season Gonzaga has lost three starters to the NBA, and two of them were top-15 picks. It says a ton that after losing the championship game to Baylor and losing all of that talent that they are at the top of the college basketball rankings and favored not only in this game, but to win the national title this season.
UCLA is off to a strong start, and the result that stands out for them is also a home win against a very good Villanova team. They needed overtime to beat the Wildcats, and that should have them pretty ready to take on Gonzaga.
The Bruins have returned all of the key contributors from last year’s team, and their starting lineup is as good as anybody’s. They suffered a tough injury with forward Cody Riley, their best big man last season, going down with a knee sprain in the season opener. The addition of transfer Myles Johnson from Rutgers gives them a great chance to control Timme inside. Or least as good a chance as anybody else in college basketball.
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs UCLA Bruns Best Bet Gonzaga Bulldogs -7
The Bulldogs are a solid favorite for this high-profile game, and they should be. But for what it is worth, they were -14 when they met at the Final Four and are only -7 this evening. Another data point to consider is that both of these teams have played Bellarmine this season. UCLA played them yesterday and beat them by 15, while Gonzaga beat them by 42 points on their home floor.
Also of note is that Gonzaga played yesterday too, throttling Central Michigan. If UCLA wins it will look like an upset, but these are two excellent teams. I have to lean to the Bulldogs though. They are humming along to start the season, and that is with minimal contribution from forward Chet Holmgren, the nation’s top high school recruit. They put so much pressure on teams with the ease with which they score, and this will be a totally different test than Villanova for UCLA. The Bruins are not going to get embarrassed, but Gonzaga looks like it will win with ease.
Gonzaga vs UCLA College Basketball Score Prediction Gonzaga 84, UCLA 74