Sports betting is just as unpredictable, changing and exciting as sports themselves. This is how a team from a mid-major conference, a program that’s never made the Final Four, has been bet up to the favorite to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship, there is a madness surrounding Gonzaga right now.
There certainly were some doubts about Gonzaga entering the season considering the program would be relying on a team largely composed of transfers, but those are long gone.
The undefeated Bulldogs appear destined for a perfect regular season after blitzing through their only two legitimate threats in the West Coast Conference the last two weeks. They looked terrific in road wins at Brigham Young and Saint Mary’s And that has a certain impressionable sector of the betting public going a bit gaga.
Mark Few’s team has never so much as competed on the final weekend on the big stage, the atmosphere of which sometimes takes a little getting used to. But enough bettors have seen enough that they are convinced, even at prices that could not currently be considered any sort of bargain.
Advance action is an art that only sport-specific wise guys can perfect. The Zags were a team that you could definitely have obtained a great price on had you bet them before the tsunami of the last couple of months. Andrews opened them at 75-1 in April, then kept correcting them downward to 50-1 in July and 20-1 in November.
But Gonzaga’s neutral-court wins over Florida on Nov. 25 and Arizona on Dec. 3 opened some eyes. And bettors began to flock.
This Gonzaga team has two qualities that some others have not – formidable size in dual rim-protecting 7-footers Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins; and a singular athletic star of a caliber it probably has never had in big junior point guard Nigel Williams-Goss. As always, the Zags can shoot it. But the combination of quality bigs and some unusual athleticism across the floor give them a defensive component they haven’t had in prior years when other highly ranked teams were built around the likes of Dan Dickau, Adam Morrison and Kelly Olynyk. Get all the latest Sports Betting updates on your social media outlets. Find us on Facebook!
Kansas (6-1) and UCLA (6-1) are the bettors’ next most popular choices, but nothing like the Zags.
Keep your eyes on Duke, as the Blue Devils are surging back up the board following the return of coach Mike Krzyzewski. Grayson Allen is apparently back to his old scoring ways, Luke Kennard is a handful for opposing defenses and Jayson Tatum is a superstar. The Blue Devils are loaded to the brim with talent and are clearly pointed in the right direction once again.
Right now the Zags have everything you could ever need in a national champion. A stud point guard in Nigel Williams-Goss, a dominant big man patroling the paint in Przemek Karnowski, tons of shooters, a defensive mentality and an excellent head coach. Sign up at Heritage Sports!