December 5 CBB Lines

The second weekend of the 2020-2021 college basketball season is finally here and the December 5 CBB lines offer a wide variety of heavy favorites, interesting underdogs, and tantalizing spreads.

But let’s be serious. Saturday is all about No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 Baylor. The public is is backing Gonzaga but not by much w,h 69% of the ML handle backing Gonzaga -141 ML, and 58% of the spread handle on Gonzaga -2.5. Over 155 is backed by 65% of the O/U handle.

Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network, breaks down the December 5 CBB lines and analyzes the betting strategy for Gonzaga vs. Baylor at 1 p.m. ET.

RELATED: College Basketball Futures is ready for the big game, and has a bunch of Saturday specials, including a boosted prop: Gonzaga & Baylor Over 17.5 3-pointers Made (+110).


#1 GONZAGA (3-0) vs. #2 BAYLOR (3-0), 1 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Gonzaga -141, Baylor +120
SPREAD: Gonzaga -2.5
OVER/UNDER: 155 points

Click here for the full list of Gonzaga-Baylor odds.

So much about this game depends on the status of Jalen Suggs’ ankle.

We all saw what happened this week. He went down with what we thought was a torn Achilles in the first half of the win over West Virginia. He came back in midway through the second half and, while dealing with a limp, still managed to play enough of a role as a distributor and a decoy that the Zags were able to win, 87-82, despite not covering.

This matters because Suggs is such an integral part of what Gonzaga wants to do offensively. I’m not going to break it all down in detail right now — I did that here, if you’re really interested — but his ability to break down a defense off of ball-screens thanks to his ridiculous explosiveness is a difference-maker on a roster full of difference-makers. The worst thing that could happen to a player that relies on their explosiveness? A bad ankle, especially when he is going to be going up against the likes of Davion Mitchell and Mark Vital, two of the very best on-ball defenders in the country. 

That is a major concern.

Enough so that it is going to keep me from taking Gonzaga (-2.5), which would be a line that I would normally jump all over if I had confidence in Suggs’ ankle.

Because the Zags are uniquely suited to being able to breakdown Baylor’s vaunted defense. You see, what Baylor does is try to force people to the baseline, where they have help-side defenders over-playing because they know that’s the only way dribblers can drive. Teams that have strong ball-handlers, good passers, and shooting can beat it by spacing the floor and allowing those baseline drivers time to pick out an open man.

Gonzaga, mind you, has three point guards on the floor in their best lineup — Suggs, Andrew Nembhard, and Joel Ayayi.

It’s just … Baylor’s defense may actually be good enough to force Gonzaga to sputter out. 

All that said, I think my favorite play in this game is the under.

It’s come down a little bit already (I got it early in the week at 163.5) but I still think that’s where you want to invest, even if the value has been bet out of the line. Baylor is better offensively this season, but they still want to make this a half-court game. Trying to get in a horse race with a Gonzaga team that has nothing but thoroughbreds on the roster seems silly.

And Scott Drew, while he does have his detractors, is definitively NOT silly. 

So take Gonzaga if you trust in Suggs’ ankle. Take Baylor if you don’t. But either way, bet the under. 

SMU (3-0) at DAYTON (1-0), 2 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Dayton -124, SMU +104
SPREAD: Dayton -1.5
OVER/UNDER: 140 points

Click here for the full list of SMU-Dayton odds.

This is just a prime buy-low spot for Dayton, who nearly blew a game against Eastern Illinois in their season-opener. Part of that has to do with the fact that both Tyson Jolly and Yor Anei are likely going to be out for the Mustangs. Part of that is that Jalen Crutcher is one of the most underrated guards in the country and should e in line for something of a bounceback game. And part of it is due to the Flyers having enough pesky defenders to throw at Kendric Davis to keep him in check. 

I love hitting the buy-low teams at home against short-handed opponents. Process, process, process.

SOUTH CAROLINA (1-1) vs. #10 HOUSTON (3-0), 6 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Houston -500, South Carolina +380
SPREAD: Houston -9.5
OVER/UNDER: 138.5 points

Click here for the full list of Houston-South Carolina odds.

I think we have to be on Houston in this spot, even if Caleb Mills is out of action. The Cougars are loaded with guards, and freshman Tramon Mark has proven to be capable of filling Mills’ scoring shoes to date. So that doesn’t concern me, because this matchup is just too good for the Cougars. 

You need shooting to be able to beat a Kelvin Sampson defense. They are going to protect the paint, they are not going to give up drives and they are going to make you make shots over the top of the defense. South Carolina is shooting 30 percent from three this season, which is only slightly higher than their turnover rate of 26.2. That won’t be helped by Houston’s defense (which forces turnovers on one out of every four possessions) or the likely absence of point guard Seventh Woods. 

Throw in the fact that the Cougars pound the offensive glass and clean up the defensive glass, where the Gamecocks typically have an advantage, and all signs here point to Kelvin Sampson covering.