Final Four Betting Preview & Picks
This year's NCAA Tournament in men's basketball is down to the Final Four. Both the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears are in the field as No. 1 seeds. The No. 2 Houston Cougars won the Midwest Region, and the No. 11 UCLA Bruins won the East Region as the lone Cinderella in this group. The two semifinal games will be played on Saturday, April 3, at Lucas Oil Stadium, with this year's national title game set for Monday, April 5.
Final Four Game 1: Houston Cougars vs. Baylor Bears
Baylor has been opened as a five-point favorite for this in-state showdown. Tip-off on CBS is slated for 5:14 p.m. (ET), and the total line for the game has been set at 135 points. The Cougars' run to the Final Four includes straight-up victories over Cleveland State, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Oregon State. They went 2-2 against the spread, with the total staying UNDER in three of the four games. They also ran the table with a trio of SU victories (2-1 ATS) to win this year's AAC Tournament. Houston has now won its last 11 games SU, and it is 14-6 ATS over its last 20 contests. Heading into this game, the total has stayed UNDER in four of its previous five games, closing as an underdog. The Bears quickly bounced back from a rare SU loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament with a four-game run of their own. Following double-digit victories over Hartford, Wisconsin, and Villanova, they beat Arkansas by nine points to win the South Region. They went 3-1 ATS, with the total staying UNDER in three of the four games. Baylor is 6-3 ATS in its last nine neutral-site games. The total has gone OVER in 13 of its previous 16 games, closing as a favorite.
Final Four Game 2: UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
The opening spread for this 8:34 p.m. tip on CBS has Gonzaga favored by 14 points, with the total line set at 146 points. UCLA remains the biggest surprise in this year's Big Dance with impressive upsets against Alabama and Michigan in its last two tournament games. It faced Michigan State as slight 2.5-point underdogs in an opening First Four matchup. The Bruins are a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS in the NCAA Tournament after going 0-4 SU (1-3 ATS) in their final four Pac-12 games of the season. They are 1-4 ATS in their previous five matchups against Gonzaga. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last seven games played on a Saturday. Gonzaga continued its undefeated run through the regular season, and West Coast Conference Tournament with another four SU wins in this tournament. All four wins have been by a comfortable margin of victory capped off by Tuesday's 85-66 victory against USC in the Elite 8 to win the West Region. It also covered the closing spread in each of those four games. The Bulldogs are now 30-0 SU with a 16-12-2 record ATS. They have a SU 10-game winning streak against the Pac-12 with a 9-2 mark ATS in their last 11 games played at a neutral site. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their previous six contests.