TCU Horned Frogs vs Gonzaga Bulldogs 2nd Round-March Madness Betting Preview
Zags 7-20-2 ATS When Playing Teams Over .500
Frogs Looking for First Sweet 16 in 61 Years
You might think Head Coach Jamie Dixon’s 14-year run without an appearance in the Elite 8 is a long time for a coach of his caliber, six decades without a Sweet 16 run is much longer. Dixon attempts to kill two birds, or droughts, with one stone as they prepare for their second-round battle with Gonzaga. TCU handed Arizona State a first-round loss but it wasn’t easy as the Sun Devils covered as a 5-point dog in defeat, 72-70.
ASU led 44-37 at the half, but TCU’s defense came to play in the second, allowing Arizona State just 26 points. The game still came down to a runner in the lane by JaKobe Coles with 1.5 seconds left to seal the come-from-behind win. Bettors took it on the chin again after 78% of the spread money came in on the Frogs, bumping the opening number up from -4 ½ to 5.
Once again, bettors were fishing for the moneyline dogs (ASU +175) with 78% of the money bet on ASU. In some ways, it’s hard not to root for TCU after Dixon was run out of Pittsburgh in 2016 after not winning enough. The Los Angeles native and former Washington Bullet won 73% of his NCAAB regular season games in 13 seasons and 64% of his tournament games.
His crime was never making out of the Elite 8. Pittsburgh was ready to move on and Dixon was ready to coach his alma mater. Dixon and TCU have a difficult task ahead of them, but plenty of motivation to overcome the mountain that is Gonzaga. Let’s continue our TCU vs Gonzaga preview by turning our attention to Gonzaga.
29-Win Zags Still Looking for Respect
We’ve heard all season long, what’s wrong with Gonzaga. They don’t seem as crisp on offense, even though they led the nation in scoring, and don’t seem to blow people away with the same ferocity that bettors are used to.
Well, nothing is wrong with Mark Few’s team, he just decided it was time to become more battle-tested for the tournament. The Bulldogs are still Gonzaga put nine quad one teams on the schedule (6-3) along with another five quad two teams (5-0). That served them well in their first-round win against Grand Canyon who put up a fight to cover a 15 1/2 spread, 82-70.
Despite the failure to cover their first-round game, the Zags (alternative nickname) have cashed tickets in 8 of their last 13 games. The 152 total points were good enough to extend the Bulldogs under streak to three games after going over the total in eight straight games to end the regular season.
The reality is Gonzaga is Few’s team is still the most dangerous team in College Basketball with a 52.9% field goal percentage which is why they continue to be a favorite to go deep into March Madness. We conclude our TCU vs Gonzaga preview by looking at the betting numbers.
TCU vs Gonzaga
Date & Time:
Location: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
Handicapping the Game
Unlike most of the other College Basketball lines, not much has changed in terms of spread or moneyline movement to begin the early stages of betting. Gonzaga is a 4 ½ point favorite with the total sticking at 156 ½. The moneyline hasn’t moved off Gonzaga -200. As the Saturday games come to a close, expect these numbers to move some but they seem solid according to our power rankings.
We do expect bettors to follow through with their underdog bets on the moneyline. Only small money has come in so far, but with 90% of the ML wagers coming in on the Horned Frogs, it’s likely that the spread and moneyline will move in their direction.
We mentioned the Zags’ ATS record against teams over .500 earlier, but to take that one step further, TCU is 6-18-2 ATS against teams playing over .600 ball and 3-11-1 in their last 14 neutral site games. We think this is going to be a high-tempo game that will dare the Frogs to keep pace with the Zags. In the end, we think TCU and the over is the play.
That does it for our TCU vs Gonzaga preview, we wish you nothing but the best heading into the second round. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
|Last Updated: 03/18/2023||Teams|
|Moneyline||Zags -200, Horned Frogs +165|