Gonzaga Favored to Make It 46 Wins in a Row Against Pepperdine

Gonzaga Struggling to Cover This Season

Transfers Leading Both Teams Heading Into Thursday’s Matchup

Gonzaga finished 2023 by dropping three of its last five games to put the Bulldogs’ streak of being in the top 25 in the national polls at risk. When looking at the Pepperdine vs Gonzaga preview, the Bulldogs are listed as the double-digit favorite.

Gonzaga has won 45 consecutive games against Pepperdine. However, Pepperdine has covered in seven of the last 11 meetings.

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Gonzaga goes after its 28th straight West Coast Conference openers with the college basketball against the spread numbers are listing the Bulldogs as the 20.5-point favorite. Not too many people are going to be jumping on the -4000 odds for Gonzaga to win outright or Pepperdine’s +1450 odds to end one of the longest series losing streaks in college basketball history.

Gonzaga guard Luka Krajnovic, who has missed the last three games, is questionable while Eastern Washington transfer Steele Venters is out for the season.

With Jevon Porter and Boubacar Coulibaly both making their season debuts in December, Pepperdine is in great shape from an injury standpoint.

When looking at the college basketball standings, this is the West Coast Conference opener for both Pepperdine and Gonzaga.

Gonzaga dropped to No. 24 in the Associated Press poll as the Bulldogs are in the top 25 for the 142nd week in a row. Gonzaga came into the season tied for 10th in the odds to win March Madness. Those odds have moved from +2500 to +3500.

Waves logo Pepperdine vs Gonzaga Bulldogs logo

Records: Pepperdine 7-8 (0-0 in West Coast Conference) vs. Gonzaga 9-4 (0-0 in West Coast Conference)
Location: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, WA
Stream ESPN+

A Homecoming For Pepperdine’s Top Scorer

Michael Ajayi, the only Washington native on the Pepperdine roster, has made quite an impact in his first season with the Waves after transferring in from Pierce College.

Ajayi has scored in double digits in his last 11 games with six double-doubles during that stretch as he is leading Pepperdine in both scoring and rebounding.

Three-year starter Houston Mallette is putting up 16.7 points per game. Keep that in mind when it comes to the Pepperdine vs Gonzaga preview.

Pepperdine has covered in just three of its last 10 games.

Gonzaga Has Work To Do In the Post-Timme Era

It has been an adjustment period for Gonzaga as Drew Timme and two other top scorers have moved on.

Wyoming transfer Graham Ike is one of five players averaging more than 10 points per game as he leads the Bulldogs in both scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.5). His consistent production is a key factor in the Pepperdine vs Gonzaga preview.

Returning starter Anton Watson is averaging 14.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game with Creighton transfer Ryan Nembhard topping the Bulldogs in assists.

Gonzaga has failed to cover in each of its last five games.

Last Meeting

Drew Timme had 22 of his 34 points in the second half as Gonzaga held off a spirited challenge from host Pepperdine in a 97-88 victory. It was just the second time in the last 14 meetings between Pepperdine and Gonzaga to be decided by single digits.

The game went over the 171-point total with 1:13 left to play. That was the highest total for a game in this series over the previous 30 matchups.

Pepperdine vs Gonzaga Betting Preview

Gonzaga is 6-1 outright at home while Pepperdine is 0-3 on the road.

Gonzaga has won 12 of its last 13 home games.

Gonzaga is 8-2 when listed as a favorite this season and 5-1 as a home favorite. Pepperdine is 0-7 as an underdog and 0-3 as a road underdog.

Pepperdine is 6-7 against the spread this season compared to a 4-8 mark for Gonzaga against Division I competition.

Gonzaga has covered in just four of the 10 games as the favorite this season.

The Bulldogs have covered in just two of their last eight games played in January.

Four of the last five NCAAB games between Pepperdine and Gonzaga landed over the total.

The total has gone under in four of Pepperdine’s last five games. However, eight of the Waves’ last 11 games against West Coast Conference teams landed over the total.

The total has gone over in seven of Gonzaga’s last nine games against WCC teams.

The question is not whether Gonzaga will win but whether the Bulldogs can cover against the large spread. It might be best to stay away from this matchup but if you are compelled to bet on this game, go with Pepperdine to cover as the huge underdogs. It might be better to go with the game to go over the 156-point total. Even that option could be a little tricky since Gonzaga’s scoring numbers are down a bit from recent seasons after losing many of its top offensive players.

For NCAAB picks and parlays, betting analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine

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