UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four Odds & Picks
The UCLA Bruins own 11 college basketball national titles, recording four perfect seasons along the way. The Gonzaga Bulldogs don't own anything as far as national honors go but sit just two wins away from notching a piece of history of their own, heading into this match-up, the second of Saturday's two NCAA tournament national semifinals in Indianapolis. Gonzaga rides a 34-game winning streak into Saturday and, with two more wins, can become the first men's D-1 basketball team to record a perfect season since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. The Bruins, meanwhile, may own all that history, but they're also lined as two-touchdown underdogs. How are we playing this game for our free college basketball Final Four pick?
UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four Betting Odds
The NCAA tournament Final Four betting lines opened Gonzaga at -13-5 over UCLA, with an over/under of 145.5. Early betting action then bumped the Bulldogs to -14.
According to Sagarin's ratings at USAToday.com, the Zags should only be favored by 10.5 points for this game.
UCLA vs. Gonzaga NCAA Tournament Final Four Betting Preview
The Bruins played 13-6 in the Pac-12 this season, and that was with losing their last three games, albeit to fellow NCAA tournament qualifiers Colorado, Oregon, and USC. Sagarin ranks the Pac-12 as the sixth-toughest conference in college basketball this season. UCLA then lost its first game in the Pac-12 tournament to Oregon State. So the Bruins began this NCAA tournament with a four-game losing streak. UCLA then advanced through its Dance card by beating Michigan State 86-80 in overtime, sixth-seeded BYU 73-62, 14th-seeded Abilene Christian 67-47, second-seeded Alabama 88-78, and finally top-seeded Michigan 51-49.
So the Bruins are back in the Final Four for the first time since making three straight appearances under Coach Howland back in 2006-07-08.
UCLA beat Michigan State outright as a two-point underdog. The Bruins then beat BYU as a dog of 3.5 points, covered at -7.5 against ACU, then won outright at +7 against 'Bama and at +6.5 against the Wolverines. That's four upsets in five games.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, played 15-0 through the West Coast Conference this season, then won the conference tournament. Sagarin ranks the WCC at No. 8 among all conferences this season, although that ranking is in huge part a product of Gonzaga's making. The Zags, as a one seed, then advanced through this NCAA tournament by beating 16th-seeded Norfolk State 98-55, eighth-seeded Oklahoma 87-71, fifth-seeded Creighton 83-65, and sixth-seeded USC 85-66.
So Gonzaga is back in the Final Four for the second time in the last four tournaments.
The Bulldogs also own a 34-game winning streak, the last 27 of which have come by double-digits. And 23 of those 34 wins have come by at least 15 points.
Gonzaga covered its first-round match against Norfolk State at -33, then covered at -15.5 against the Sooners, then covered at -13 against the Blue Jays, then covered at -9 against the Trojans.
NCAA Basketball Betting Trends
- Favorites are 40-23 SU, 29-34 ATS through the first four rounds of this NCAA tournament.
- Higher seeds are 40-19 SU, 30-29 ATS through the first four rounds of this NCAA tournament.
- UCLA is 7-7 both SU and ATS this season against teams that made this NCAA tournament.
- Gonzaga is 11-0 SU, 7-2-2 ATS against teams that made this Big Dance.
Overs are 17-14 in Bruins games this season, which are averaging 141 total points.
Totals are split 15-15 in Zags games this season, which are averaging 162 points.
Unders are 38-25 through the first four rounds of this NCAA tournament, and three games that played over needed overtime to do it. So under are actually 41-23 through regulation time in this tournament.
UCLA vs. Gonzaga Prediction
Gonzaga is just a super team, really good, fundamentally sound, mentally tough, unselfish, and fun to watch. UCLA, on the other hand, has probably been playing over its head the last couple of games, and that's tough to keep up. Now, two touchdowns is a ton of a line in a game at this level of the tournament, but the Bulldogs just keep winning by big margins. Heck, they let up against USC last time out and still won by 19. We're gonna give the points here with Gonzaga.