Baylor Bears vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Odds & Predictions
A crazy NCAA tournament reaches its climax with the championship match-up most of us wanted
when the unbeaten Gonzaga Bulldogs battle the Baylor Bears in the national championship game Monday night in Indianapolis. Gonzaga just won one of the greatest Final Four games in history Saturday, outlasting UCLA in one national semifinal, while Baylor destroyed Houston in the other. Now, the Zags are favored by a handful of points for this much-anticipated contest. Who do we like here for our free college basketball pick?
NCAA Basketball National Championship Betting Odds
The college basketball NCAA tournament betting odds opened Gonzaga at -4.5 over Baylor, with an over/under of right around 160. Early betting action then dipped that total to 159.
According to Sagarin's ratings at USAToday.com, the Zags should only be favored by 2.5 points for this game.
Baylor vs. Gonzaga Betting Preview
The Bears reached this NCAA championship game by blowing out Houston in a national semifinal Saturday, 78-59. Baylor actually trailed the Cougars early in that game 8-6, then used a 37-12 run to lead 45-20 at the half. The Bears then never let Houston get closer than 16 points in the second half, cruising to the victory and the easy cover as five-point favorites.
Baylor shot 53 percent from the field Saturday, hit 11/24 from 3-point land, held the Cougars to just 38 percent FG shooting, and won the battle on the boards 33-28.
So the Bears have won their five games in this NCAA tournament by an average score of 75-60. They're also 4-1 ATS in this tournament and would be 5-0 if not for a late meaningless basket by Hartford in their first-round match-up.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, reached this NCAA championship game by beating UCLA in the other national semifinal Saturday 93-90 in overtime. Gonzaga trailed the Bruins 36-30 late in the first half but rallied to lead 45-44 into the locker room. The Zags then pulled out to a seven-point lead midway through the second half, only to fall down by three with five minutes left. From there, the game played close and wild, with great plays by both teams at both ends of the court, as a very game UCLA team hung on. In the end, in overtime, the Bruins tied it at 90-90 on a put-back bucket with three seconds left, but Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs took the in-bounds pass, dribbled three times, and banked in a 35-footer at the overtime buzzer for the victory.
However, the Bulldogs never came close to covering the spread as 14-point favorites.
Gonzaga shot 59 percent from the floor Saturday but allowed the Bruins to shoot 58 percent. The Zags also got out-rebounded 32-26.
So Gonzaga has won its five tournament games by an average score of 89-69, going 4-1 ATS along the way.
These two teams met most recently just two years ago in the second round of the NCAA tournament, an 83-71 Gonzaga victory.
NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting Trends
- Favorites are 42-23 SU but only 30-35 ATS in this NCAA tournament.
- Gonzaga is 12-0 SU, 7-3-2 ATS this season against teams that made this NCAA tournament.
- Baylor is 13-2 SU, 10-5 ATS this season against teams that made this NCAA tournament.
Overs are 18-11 in Bears games this season, which are averaging 151 total points.
Overs are 16-15 in Bulldogs games this season, which are averaging 162 points.
Unders are 38-27 in this NCAA tournament.