James Alberino 

Texas +7.5 at Gonzaga – 2 units


Loaded Texas team with a defensive identity and in an early November game I’m betting on Chris Beard to have his defense ready to play a competitive game against an offense that lost Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert. As talented as Gonzaga is there are still 3 guys on the court most times who weren’t on the team last year and their offense is still going to take some time to be at peak level. When teams have only 25-30 practices to get ready for the start of a season, defense is usually ahead of offense and between all of the athletes Texas has and the system Beard runs, Texas should play a good defensive game and competitive enough where 7.5’s a good bet and alive the whole game. Chet Holmgren and Timme have the size advantage over Texas but Holmgren is 195 lbs and not a finesse player it’s not like he’s a 7 foot 260 lb kid who is going to overpower you. Beard’s gameplan should (and will most likely) revolve around pressuring Gonzaga’s guards on entry passes into the post and then throw some double teams inside and try to force the ball to the perimeter as much as they can. Gonzaga shot only 6 for 21 from three vs Dixie State the other night and they had 15 turnovers on offense with Holgrem having 5 of them. This isn’t overlooking Gonzaga’s talent, because they have a lot of it. But so does Texas with Courtney Ramey, Marcus Carr, Tim Allen, Christian Bishop, and Andrew Jones. Texas shot 13 for 23 from three the other night, 64% from the field and will run a motion offense that can pull Holmgren and Timme away from the basket at times. Gonzaga’s the team with the target on their back. For Texas and Chris Beard they get a chance to prove that they’re back on the map as a big time program and going to be able to do what Shaka Smart wasn’t able to. Texas has to just compete and play a hard road game in order to make that happen and same for this bet to cash. Give me 7.5