The 2021 NCAA Tournament is underway and the No. 1-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs will take on the No. 16-seeded Norfolk State Spartans in the West Region on Saturday at 9:20 p.m. ET in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. There's only been one No. 16 seed to ever defeat a No. 1 seed since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, but Norfolk State (17-7) will be feeling confident following a thrilling 54-53 win over Appalachian State in the First Four. Meanwhile, Gonzaga is a perfect 27-0 and will be looking to make just its second Final Four ever after finishing as runner-ups in 2017.
Gonzaga is 13-12 against the spread so far this season, while Norfolk State has been a solid 13-9 against the number. For Saturday, the Bulldogs are favored by 33 with the over-under for total points scored listed at 154 in the latest Gonzaga vs. Norfolk State odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Before finalizing any Norfolk State vs. Gonzaga picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It has also returned almost $500 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Gonzaga vs. Norfolk State in the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Norfolk State vs. Gonzaga:
- Gonzaga vs. Norfolk State spread: Gonzaga -33
- Gonzaga vs. Norfolk State over-under: 154 points
- Gonzaga vs. Norfolk State money line: Gonzaga -10000, Norfolk State +2000
- ZAGS: The Bulldogs lead the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency (125.2)
- NOR: The Spartans have covered in their last six games entering the 2021 NCAA Tournament
Why Gonzaga can cover
The Bulldogs are known primarily for having one of the most productive offenses in college basketball history. They lead the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency (125.2) and scoring (92.1 ppg), but their defense is also one of the best in the nation.
Gonzaga ranks fifth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (89.8) and the Bulldogs are a strong rebounding team, ranking 24th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (76.6 percent). Against a Norfolk State squad that shot just 34.5 percent from the floor and lost the rebounding battle 42-29 against Appalachian State, the Bulldogs' defense could be the key to covering the 33-point spread.
Why Norfolk State can cover
Robert Jones' eighth season at the helm of Norfolk State led the Spartans to their first MEAC championship since 2012, when they would eventually go on to beat Missouri as a No. 15 seed. In what wound up being a difficult shooting night for most of the teams playing in First Four games, Norfolk State shot just 34.5 percent from the floor but did go 7-for-18 from the 3-point line to earn a 54-53 win over Appalachian State.
Jalen Hawkins poured in 24 points while adding five rebounds and two steals in the victory. Leading scorer DeVante Carter was limited to just four points on 1-of-10 shooting and he'll need to produce more offensively if the Spartans are going to keep pace with Gonzaga. He's averaging 15.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.
How to make Norfolk State vs. Gonzaga picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 160 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Norfolk State vs. Gonzaga? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.