Knights vs. Bulldogs Prediction
The top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs will begin NCAA Tournament play tonight when they take on the upset-minded long-shot Fairleigh Dickinson Knights in the first round. Can Fairleigh Dickinson keep it close enough to cover the spread as massive underdogs?
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Vivint Smart Home Arena at 7:27PM ET
Compare odds from multiple different online sportsbooks and shop for the best lines at our College Basketball Odds & Betting Page.
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, the Bulldogs are a 27-point favorite on the spread line. The over-under sits at 152.5 points. As of Thursday morning, 55 percent of public bets are siding with Gonzaga. Check out our College Basketball Public Betting Page for up-to-date information.
Knights earn automatic bid
Fairleigh Dickinson clinched its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament nine days ago with an 85-76 victory over St. Francis in the Northeastern Conference Tournament championship game. The Knights established a 40-31 halftime advantage and held on from there. Fairleigh Dickinson shot 30-of-47 from the floor, 7-of-13 from 3-point range plus 18-of-20 at the free throw line. Kaleb Bishop led the way with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting including 3-of-3 from 3-point range plus 1-of-2 at the charity stripe. He also accounted for 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Jahlil Jenkins also tallied 20 points to go with three assists, two boards and two steals. Darnell Edge scored a team-best 21 points to go with two caroms and two steals. Mike Holloway Jr. had 12 points, five assists, two boards and two blocks. Elyjah Williams added 12 points, four blocks and three rebounds.
Bulldogs stunned by Gaels
Gonzaga lost by a count of 60-47 against St. Mary's in the West Coast Conference Tournament championship game nine days ago to fall to 30-3 on the season. It ended the Bulldogs' 21-game winning streak. Gonzaga was outscored 33-23 in the second half of the defeat. The Bulldogs shot 18-of-47 from the floor, 2-of-17 on 3-point attempts plus 9-of-12 at the free throw line. Brandon Clarke led Gonzaga with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting plus 4-of-4 at the free throw line. He also pulled down eight rebounds. Josh Perkins added 10 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals.
College Basketball Betting Trends
The Knights are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games overall. Fairleigh Dickinson is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 Thursday games.
The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games. Gonzaga is 1-4 ATS in its last five NCAA Tournament games.
This is a big spread, but the Bulldogs have made it a routine to crush lesser foes all season. Gonzaga has won 14 games this season by as many points as this spread, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if this turns into a complete rout. Fairleigh Dickinson lost 90-55 in its season opener against Rutgers and the Bulldogs are obviously much, much better than the Scarlet Knights. The only other top-100 team the Knights have faced was Providence and that also ended in a double-digit loss. Go with the Zags here.
NCAA DAILY PREDICTION: GONZAGA BULLDOGS -27