Daily Dunk: Best College Basketball Bets Today, Friday, Dec. 15 (How to Bet UConn-Gonzaga)

College basketball betting preview, prediction and best bets for UConn vs. Gonzaga.

Dec 9, 2023; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies forward Alex Karaban (11) reacts to the crowd
Dec 9, 2023; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies forward Alex Karaban (11) reacts to the crowd / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

It's an incredibly limited college basketball slate as schools finish finals, setting us up for a loaded weekend on the hardwood, but there's a solid appetizer on Friday night.

The defending national champion UConn Huskies take the cross-country trip to Seattle, Wash. to take on Gonzaga, who will take the short trip from Spokane to play on a (semi) neutral court. The Huskies look the part of a title team once again while the Bulldogs can use a signature win heading into conference play. Will it come here?

Oddsmakers are in favor of UConn, but can Gonzga's potent offense keep up?

Here's our look for the marquee matchup on a small Friday night slate:

College Basketball Season Record: 25-21-2 (+1.79U)

Best College Basketball Bets Today

  • UConn -4 vs. Gonzaga

UConn vs. Gonzaga Prediction and Pick

These are two elite offenses, but I believe that the edge for UConn's defense is the difference in this one.

The Bulldogs rely on its motion-heavy scheme that generates a ton of rim pressure, the Bulldogs have the 32nd closest average shot proximity in the nation, according to Haslametrics. However, the team will struggle to deal with the length on the perimeter of UConn as well as 7'2" Donovan Clingan protecting the rim. UConn is allowing the 12th lowest field goal percentage at the rim this season (49%) and can force the Zags to shoot from the perimeter.

If this becomes a perimeter battle, that will tip the scales in favor of UConn. While the Huskies are 325th in 3-point percentage allowed this season (37%), I'm chalking some of that up to poor shot variance (ShotQuality believes the Huskies are due a 2% drop in opponent 3-point shooting). Further, Gonzaga is a middle of the pack perimeter shooting team (167th in the country).

On the other side, UConn's 3-point shooting is in a good spot to bounce back here. For starters, the team has deadly shooters, including senior Cam Spencer (45%) but the likes of forward Alex Karaban has struggled, down from 40% to 35%. Overall, the Huskies are shooting just 33% from beyond the arc this season, but ShotQuality believes the team is due a 3% increase in perimeter shooting while Gonzaga is due a 6% drop after holding teams to 29% from beyond the arc thus far.

UConn has a devastating offense on the interior, 64% on two's is the best mark in the country, and Gonzaga's inability to pressure the ball is going to allow the team to run its preferred offense.

I think UConn is a cut above the Zags' and the team is unable to keep up as the team's 3-point splits are glaring heading into this one.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!