Washington State Cougars at No. 23 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Tuesday, 11/15/11, 12:00 AM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Gonzaga -11
Current Betting Line: Gonzaga -10.5
Opening Total: 139
Current Total: 139
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Washington State is set to open its 2011-12 campaign on the road against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, as it looks to make it two in a row in this series, tallying an impressive 81-59 win as four-point home favorites a year ago. The matchup kicks off ESPN’s annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon which features over 25-consecutive hours of college basketball action. The Cougars are 9-3 all-time when opening the season against the Bulldogs. Washington State is 8-13 ATS on the road the last two years, while the total is even at 11-11 Over/Under.
The Cougars’ 22-point victory over the Bulldogs in last year’s meeting was the largest since Dec. 1, 1982, in the series. Washington State held Gonzaga scoreless in the first seven minutes of the game. It’s important to note that the program is 1-6 when playing as a non-ranked team against a ranked Gonzaga squad. The team welcomes back three starters and seven letterwinners from a year ago, but will be without DeAngelo Casto and Clay Thompson, who both made the jump to enter the NBA draft.
Gonzaga walked away with a 77-69 win over Eastern Washington as 21-point favorites in its season opener, as the team shot 51 free throws in the contest. The Bulldogs enjoy one of the more dominant homecourt advantages in college basketball, registering a 90-6 record inside the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga has tallied a 62-5 non-conference home record during the Mark Few era. Over the last two seasons, the team is 16-12 ATS when playing non-conference opponents.
The Bulldogs appeared in the preseason rankings for the 10th time since the 1999 campaign. Few is the second-winningest head coach by percentage (.793) in major college basketball, ranking just behind North Carolina’s Roy Williams (.798) and in front of Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon (.783). Robert Sacre is the team’s leader offensively, as he became the 34th player in school history to join the 1,000-point club, scoring 22 points in the season opener.
Bettors will likely back the Cougars due to their 4-1 ATS mark versus West Coast Conference schools, while the Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS versus Pac-12 Conference opponents.
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