Baylor Bears vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Pick

March 23, 7:10 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Gonzaga -13

The No. 9 seed Baylor Bears (20-13) will square off with No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs (31-3) in the second round of the 2019 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The collision is set for Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 with a scheduled tip-off time of 7:10 PM ET. The game will be televised on TBS live from Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bears and Bulldogs have met three times in the previous 13 years, and the Zags have won all three meetings. Despite this trend, Baylor has posted a 2-1 ATS record against the spread in meetings between the two parties. Most recently, Gonzaga defeated Baylor at home in 2012 by a score of 94-87. In doing so, Baylor managed to foster a cover as a 9.5-point underdog.

Baylor Bears vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Overview

Baylor Bears

The Bears ended a four-game losing streak with style on Thursday when they knocked off one of college basketball’s favorite sons, the Syracuse Orange in First Round action. The Bears closed as a 2.5-point underdog but managed to defeat Syracuse 78-69.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

The Bulldogs were last in action in on Thursday in First Round play against play-in winner No. 16 Farleigh Dickinson. The Zags made quick work of FDU handing them an 87-49 thumping to cover a lofty 28.5-point line with ease.

Reasons To Back Baylor

The Bears will be a step up in terms of competitive quality for the Zags as the Bulldogs are no longer facing lower-tier conference opponents or mid-major opposition from the West Coast Conference. Now, Gonzaga has to lock horns with a Baylor team that hails from one of college football's premier leagues, the Big 12. The Big 12 is a Power Conference and with as such Baylor is likely the more battle-tested of teams as they are facing premium competition on a regular basis. After all, Baylor has squared off with tournament participants Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and conference champion Iowa State several times per year. This gives the Bears an edge here with a double-digit point total to take back.

Reasons To Avoid Gonzaga

The line presented here is a by-product of the inflated stock that accompanies top seeds in the tournament, especially when they cover as lofty chalk against a 16 seed. Gonzaga has been argued by some to be the best team in America, and as a result of such superlatives, the Zags are in a prime position here for an overlay.

Baylor Bears vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Prediction 03/23/2019

I wouldn't be shocked if the Bears staged an upset and knocked off the Bulldogs here. At the time this article was written, we had a reasonably top-seed friendly first round without anything too crazy unfolding outside of fan-favorite Murray State staging what seemed to be an obvious upset. There is often a No. 1 or No. 2 seed that may struggle to get out of the Second Round in each tournament, and this game looks like the best scenario for such a feat to occur.

Free Pick: 
Take Baylor +13