The 16th-seeded South Dakota State Jackrabbits will look to pull off the impossible when they take on the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs in their West regional first round pairing on Thursday. South Dakota State won the Summit League Tournament championship while Gonzaga took home the West Coast Conference championship. Now let’s find out where the value in this matchup lies.
How To Bet The No. 16 South Dakota State Jackrabbits Vs No.1 Gonzaga Bulldogs Odds & TV Info
South Dakota State (18-16) vs Gonzaga Bulldogs (32-1)
When: Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM ET
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
Odds: Gonzaga -22.5
Why Bet The South Dakota State Jackrabbits Odds at +22.5
South Dakota State (18-16 SU, 14-16-1 ATS) bounced back from a dismal 1-6 start to win the Summit League Tournament as a No. 4 seed with a 79-77 victory over Omaha in the championship game on March 7. Not only that, but South Dakota State is pretty hot and has a legitimate star player on their roster.
The Jackrabbits have won six straight games under first-year head coach T.J. Otzelberger and eight of 10 coming into this matchup and will be making their fourth appearance in March Madness in six years.
6 foot 9 inch, 245-pound sophomore forward Mike Daum won the Summit League’s Player of the Year award and the MVP of the conference tournament for the second consecutive year. Daum, who posted a fantastic double-double with 37 points and 12 rebounds in the conference championship game win, leads the Jackrabbits in scoring (25.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg), even though South Dakota State has just one other double-digit scorer on the roster.
Why Bet The Gonzaga Bulldogs Odds at -22.5
Gonzaga has won three straight since losing to BYU in their regular season finale and smacked Saint Mary’s senseless in their 74-56 WCC tourney championship game on March 7.The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the nation for four straight weeks and have the look of a legitimate national champion title contender after winning their three WCC tourney games by an average of 19.7 points and pretty much blowing away their competition this season.
Not only that, but Gonzaga has a true superstar leading them in senior guard Nigel Williams-Goss and a handful of other excellent role players, including a hulking 7-foot senior center in Przemek Karnowski (12.6 ppg) that controls the paint.
"There’s no doubt in any of our minds that we can win the entire tournament," junior guard Nigel Williams-Goss said. "It’s not going to be easy, and we’ll have to meet a lot of challenges."
Williams-Goss has been a revelation for the Bulldogs after transferring from Washington. The 6-3 guard was named the Most Outstanding Player of the WCC tourney after scoring 22 points to go along with six rebounds, six assists and six steals in the title-game win over the Gaels.
The do-it-all Player of the Year candidate also won the WCC Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors after leading the team in scoring (16.9), assists (4.8), steals (1.8) and free-throw accuracy (91.0 percent).
South Dakota State Vs Gonzaga Pick & Final Score Prediction
Not only does Gonzaga average seven points per game more than South Dakota State, but the Bulldogs also limit the opposition to 16.2 fewer points per game as well, which is why i like the Zags to win and cover the high spread as near 23-point favorites.
The Bulldogs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite and 9-4 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games. Simply put, go along with the 64 percent of public bettors that like the top-seeded Bulldogs to win and cash in!
My final score prediction is Gonzaga 88 South Dakota State 64