Pepperdine (4-5, 0-0) will travel to Spokane, Washington to face #1 Gonzaga (12-0, 3-0). The Waves missed time due to positive Covid-19 tests. The Waves now get the enjoyment of facing the Bulldogs in the WCC opener.
Gonzaga is coming off 116-88 win over Portland. While the Bulldogs won easily, it was one of their worst performances of the year on defenses where they allowed the Pilots to shoot over 48% from three.
Pepperdine Betting Preview
Does Pepperdine have a shot to win this game? The answer is no, but the Waves have a couple of nice wins over California and UC Irvine. They will have the tough task of knocking off the rust of being shut down against what is far and away the best team in the nation.
Colbey Ross leads the team in scoring (19.0), assists (7.2) and steals (1.3). Ross is easily Pepperdine’s best player but he does struggle with turnovers as he is averaging 3.8 per contest.
Kessler Edwards is second on the team averaging 17.2 points per game. Edwards is shooting 41.5% from behind the arc.
The Waves are ranked 144th in the nation by Kenpom The offense is 104th in efficiency while the defense ranks 191st.
Gonzaga Betting Preview
Mark Few knows he is spoiled with riches when the fourth best player on his team, Joel Ayayi, has the first ever triple-double in Gonzaga history during their last game. Ayayi has 12 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists against Portland.
Ayayi did the task in only 28 minutes while not committing a turnover. Ayayi is averaging 11.8 points (4th on the team) and leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 per contest.
The dynamic duo of Corey Kispert and Drew Timme lead the team in scoring. Kispert is averaging 21.1 points and Timme is second with 18.5 per game.
Freshman Jalen Suggs, who would be the best player on most teams in the country, is third on the team in scoring (13.8) and leads the team in assists (5.1) and steals (2.6). Gonzaga averages a remarkable 21.3 assists per game.
Kenpom has Gonzaga as the first ranked team in the nation. The offense is first in efficiency while the defense ranks 21st.
Waves/Bulldogs Betting Lines
MyBookie has Gonzaga as a 25.5-point favorite. The total is set at 164 points.
Free Betting Pick
It is tough to find something to complain about with Gonzaga, but their defense has really let up the last few games. They also had season low outputs of 85 and 86 points against San Francisco and BYU respectfully.
One area Gonzaga does struggle is shooting from outside. They are only shooting 33.5% from behind the arc and Pepperdine holds their opponents to 29% from three-point range which is 29th best in the nation. Look for Gonzaga to dominate the game from the interior.
Gonzaga 99, Pepperdine 70
Spooky Express Free Pick: Gonzaga -25.5