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Dalzell's Dish

College Basketball Bets, Jan. 15: Gonzaga, UVA

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: January 15, 2022, 12:06 am ET

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Wake Forest at Virginia (-3.5): O/U 128.5

An ACC matchup between Wake Forest and Virginia could be one of the most boring games of the slate, but I am here for it.

Virginia has won nine straight meetings against Wake Forest, per NBC's Edge Finder. Virginia won six of those nine games by four or more points (66.6%).

The Cavaliers won six straight at home against the Demon Deacons and covered the spread four times (66.6%).

Virginia vs Wake Forest L10


We have watched a little too much Wake Forest basketball this year and I am convinced this is not a good team despite its 13-4 record. The Demon Deacons are also woeful on the road.

Over the last 21 true road games, Wake Forest is 2-19 on the ML (9.5%), yes two wins in the past 20 true road games. The two wins came against Virginia Tech in the first true road game this season and Boston College last season.

Wake Forest is 10-10-1 ATS (50%) in that 21-game stretch, going 1-3-1 ATS over the last five true road games.

Wake Forest on the road


This season, Wake Forest plays a much quicker tempo than last season (241st to 92nd), which will be tough to continue against Virginia, especially with a 32.3% three-point percentage (228th).

The Deacons do most of its damage spread out with two-pointers making up 51.2% of the shot attempts, which is positive because they are fourth nationally at 58.7% from two. However, the Cavaliers are 24th defensively from two (44.2%) and rarely allow free throws (330th).

Wake Forest will have to deal with Virginia's last-placed tempo (59.8) and average defensive possession length (19.2 seconds). Most teams are forced to play at Virginia's pace, and I expect Wake Forest to be another of those squads. Wake Forest is 0-3 on the ML when they fail to score 70 points this season. 

This will be Wake Forest's fourth true road game of the year. The Demon Deacons lost the previous two against Louisville by four and Miami by eight points.

Back Virginia out to -4 as the Cavaliers should earn the 10th straight win in this series.

Pick: Virginia -3.5 (1u)


I will reach out to PointsBet to get a Virginia ML and Gonzaga ML Parlay for my Booster of the Day, which will be a 0.5 unit play at -110 odds more than likely.


Gonzaga (-14.5) at Santa Clara: O/U 165.5

Is any team hotter than Gonzaga right now?

The Bulldogs have scored 93 or more points in four straight games, including 110 and 117 in the previous two against Pepperdine and BYU.

The task for Gonzaga, avoid a trap in its first true road game of the year. The Bulldogs have played neutral site games against Alabama, Central Michigan, Duke, Texas Tech and UCLA -- so they are more than battle-tested.

In its last five games, Gonzaga is 4-1 ATS entering this contest. The Bulldogs average margin of victory in the last five games has been by 30.0 points, with every win coming by 14 or more points.

Gonzaga is 6-4 ATS (60%) in the series versus Santa Clara over the previous 10 meetings and won 22 straight. Gonzaga has won seven straight by 14 or more points.

When Santa Clara is the home team, Gonzaga has won nine straight but only covered the spread three times, per NBC's Edge Finder.

While that is not appealing, Gonzaga won four straight at Santa Clara by 15 or more points.

Gonzaga vs Santa Clara


This year, Santa Clara started hot with five straight wins before cooling off. Recently, the Broncos have won four consecutive games against teams ranked 170th or worse in Kenpom, three of them 250th and beyond.

Santa Clara has played only one top 100 team at home this season, beating Stanford (88-72) in the second game of the year. 

In the last six home games, the Broncos are 2-4 ATS (33.3%), playing teams like Pacific, Montana, Florida A&M and Mount St. Mary's.

The Broncos like to slow opponents down, ranking 339th in average defensive possession length (18.4 seconds). There is no slowing down Gonzaga, who ranks second in adjusted offensive efficiency (123.9) and top 10 in both adjusted tempo (7th) and offensive possession length (3rd).

Even with this being a true road game, I would play Gonzaga out to -16 as they should continue beating Santa Clara by 15 or more points. This offense is hot, scoring 61 and 63 points in the past two first-halves alone.

Pick: Gonzaga -14.5 (1u)


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Vaughn Dalzell

Vaughn Dalzell is a former Division I SID, two-time IUP Alumnus and former contributor for numberFire, FantasyPros and Bet The Prop. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @VmoneySports.