The NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 is upon which means you better start working on the lame excuse you’re going to tell your wives and girlfriends as to why you can’t afford to take them out to dinner in the next two weeks (“things are really tight at work, honey…”).
Every degenerate gambler sees March Madness as a shot at redemption, an opportunity to get back in the black. In reality, the NCAA Tournament is still a paycheck devouring she-devil (of course the tourney is female). But we know logic and common sense aren’t going to stop you from forking over your hard earned cash, so we might as well try and help you win.
Gonzaga will take on West Virginia tonight at 7:40 P.M. EST on TBS. If you’re planning on betting, here’s a few tips.
Gonzaga vs. West Virginia Sweet 16 Odds
Spread: Gonzaga (-3), per OddsShark.com
Moneyline: Gonzaga (-160), West Virginia (+140)
Gonzaga Record Against the Spread: 23-10-1
West Virginia Record Against the Spread: 16-16-1
Preview & Prediction
The Bulldogs were, well, bulldogs early in the season thrashing any opponent that got in their way. But Gonzaga is just 5-5 ATS over their last ten outings. That’s not exactly the type of momentum you want heading into a challenging contest against Bob Huggins’ swarming press defense.
WVU has been swallowing opposing offenses whole this season, leading the nation in turnovers forced per game at 20.11. Huggins likes to sub early and often to keep his players fresh and mask his team’s lack of size down low.
If Gonzaga can break WVU’s press, they’ll likely pound the rock inside to Przemek Karnowski. The seven-footer will have zero competition height wise from The Mountaineers and could absolutely go off. But surviving WVU’s aggressive defense is easier said than done. Notre Dame went into their second-round matchup against West Virginia averaging just 9.5 turnovers per game. They coughed the ball up 10 times in the first half alone.
WVU is hungry to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 2010. They have a clear identity and play each game to their strengths. The team’s physical nature and depth helps force teams out of their game plan. Gonzaga is a higher seed for a reason and is 3-0 against West Virginia all-time. But the time is now for an upset.
Prediction: Gonzaga 68, West Virginia 73