FREE COLLEGE PICKS AGAINST SPREAD
Welcome to our Free College Picks Against Spread. Today we will be analyzing and previewing a big non-conference match-up between Villanova and Gonzaga. At the end of the article we will be making our pick, which is always against the spread. Here is our 2nd edition of “Free College Picks Against Spread”.
GAME IS TUESDAY, 12-5-17
Villanova #4 (8-0, 6-2 ATS) Vs Gonzaga #12 (7-1, 3-2 ATS)
Villanova -4.5 o/u : 149.5
Venue : Madison Square Garden, NY, NY
article written by Chris Petraccoro (contributor to In The Gym Range)
Two of the top teams in college hoops meet tonight at the Mecca of Basketball when East meets West at the Jimmy V Classic. Villanova Champions from two years ago look to bounce back this year after failing to reach the Sweet 16 a year ago being upset as #1 seed to Wisconsin 65-62. The Wildcats enter unblemished and look to remain unbeaten as they tangle with perennial west coast power Gonzaga, last years runner up. The Zags will be looking to avoid their second loss of the season. Keep in mind they didn’t encounter loss #2 until last seasons championship game coming up short 71-65 to the hands of North Carolina.
Villanova sports one of the best all around squads in the nation led by standout junior point guard Jalen Brunson averaging 17.9ppg,4.5ast. What’s even more impressive is that Brunson (son of former NBA player Rick Brunson) is shooting an astounding 64.6% from the field. Gonzaga counters with Sr., Forward Johnathan Williams who enters the contest with a team high and personal best 15.9ppg adding 6.9rpg. Williams shined with 39pts despite in a loosing effort against Florida in double overtime 111-105 just 11 days ago.
Aside from Brunson who figures to be a first round pick in either of the next two drafts, experts are evaluating two other players from these respective teams. Villanova Jr., Mikal Bridges (SF) standing at 6’7 exploits tremendous defensive talent and smooth shooting (57% including 50% on 3pointers, 83% at the line) is up from 9.8ppg a year ago to 17.9 in this seasons young campaign. Bridges is rising in mock drafts and likely could land towards the back end of the Lottery. Gonzaga Soph, Killian Tillie (F/C) at 6’10 displays a soft touch from the outside (12.4ppg/6.9rpg) while a little undersized in the weight category is improving his rebounding and prowess as a shot blocker. He figures to be a late first rounder.
This first ever match-up between basketball powers should excite the basketball rich fans of the NY Metropolitan area as the Zags look to score a signature win playing their toughest opponent on their schedule. With Villanova garnering a better feeling of playing at home, (100 mile trip) we believe they are a little more likely to pull out the victory. Villanova comes in scorching from 3pt range at a 40 percent clip. Brunson shines as the Wildcats score an 82-73 victory.
TAKE VILLANOVA GIVING -4.5