March Madness Final Four plays on Saturday and we have predictions for the two games.
Stakes are high with only four teams left in the National Basketball Championship. A place in the final awaits the teams and we’re expecting fireworks.
We have picks and predictions for Houston vs Baylor and UCLA and Gonzaga.
March Madness Final Four Picks
Houston Cougars vs Baylor Bears @ Lucas Oil Stadium
Two Texas-based teams do battle on Saturday morning as the 26-2 Baylor Bears face the 28-3 Houston Cougars.
Both teams have been excellent this season and this is expected to be the closest game of the day. Bookmakers have Baylor as the $1.39 favourites following a professional win over Arkansas in the Elite 8.
It was yet another superb performance from the Bears, which have been the second-best team in the country for most of the season. They are making a case of being the case, but beating Houston is needed on Saturday.
Houston had a couple of hiccups throughout the season, but it has hit top gear during the tournament. They have shown their defensive prowess during the tournament, which includes holding its last three opponents to 60, 61 and 46 points.
The Cougars defense ranks better than Baylor, which isn’t easy to do. Houston allows only 55.8 points per game, which is one of the best averages in college basketball.
Baylor allows 60.3, but scores an average of seven points more than Houston. Statistics indicate a close game is on the cards and we’re expecting a tight contest.
Money has come for Houston in the spread market and it’s not surprising. The Cougars get +5.5 points and that line could shift to 4.5 come game day.
Baylor is the better team, but take Houston with the points.
Bet: Houston +5.5
UCLA Bruins vs Gonzaga Bulldogs @ Lucas Oil Stadium
UCLA did incredibly well to get to the Final Four, but its dreams of making the final could be dashed on Saturday.
The Bruins scored a massive upset win over Michigan earlier this week. The 51-49 result was an incredible effort and it backed up their 88-78 overtime win over Alabama.
They have beaten some of the best teams in the country, but Gonzaga is another beast. The Bulldogs have had no rivals this season, going 30-0 and looking indestructible.
A talented USC team couldn’t get within 19 points of the Bulldogs, which should be a concern for UCLA, which isn’t too different from USC.
The Bulldogs spread the ball around the court and stopping the likes of Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme isn’t easier said than done.
Bookmakers have Gonzaga as $1.05 to win the game, which shows how dominant it has been in the 2020/2021 season. There is currently 14.5 points between them in the spread markets, which is a big line for a Final Four game.
Such is the dominance of the Bulldogs, but covering such a big spread won’t be easy. Gonzaga will need to play very well to beat UCLA by 15 points, so punters have a tricky line to work with.
It could be a close-run thing, but we’re taking Gonzaga to cover the spread. It could lead by 8-9 points at the half before applying the ultimate pressure in the second half.
Bet: Gonzaga –14.5
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.