After a month of college basketball madness, we’re down to the final two teams. Monday’s National Championship sees the Baylor Bears vs Gonzaga Bulldogs, which is set to be an epic game.
This game is two years in the making and they have been the two best teams all season. Gonzaga is shooting for an undefeated 32-0 record – only the seventh team in history to achieve the feat.
However, Baylor has NBA-level talent and is ready to score an upset in Indiana on April 6.
We preview Baylor vs Gonzaga and provide our best betting predictions.
March Madness National Championship Picks
Baylor Bears vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Preview
The Gonzaga Bulldogs made a hail Mary three pointer in overtime against UCLA to make the final, so there is a sense of destiny about this team.
They won all 31 games throughout the season and although they weren’t stellar when beating UCLA, they still scored 93 points after overtime.
This is a team that averages 91.6 points per game and allows only 69.4, so there is plenty to be excited about. Gonzaga won their other three tournament games by double digits, so they were due a close affair.
It was much easier for Baylor in the Final Four and it sent a statement to Gonzaga. The Bears, who dropped two games throughout the season, defeated Houston 78-59.
Houston was a team with potential NBA talent and Baylor made them look second-rate. The Bears made shots early, but it was their defense which made the difference.
Baylor is one of the best defensive teams in the country, allowing just 60 points per game. They held Houston to under 60 points, which was an incredible effort. If Gonzaga’s points scorers are going to get open, they’ll want to make the shots count.
Baylor plays terrific team defense and getting an open shot is a feat in itself. That is one area where Baylor has the advantage, but Gonzaga has a team of talented shooters.
Jalen Suggs, who made the game-winning shot against UCLA, is on fire and Drew Timme scores 19.2 points per game. The duo has been red-hot throughout the season, and if they aren’t firing, Gonzaga has many players that can step up to the mark.
It’s not easy to score over 90 points per game in college basketball. Gonzaga has made its opposition look silly at times and the lowest total they scored in the tournament was 83 points against a tough Creighton outfit.
Baylor doesn’t score nearly as much, but it has some potent scorers. We have been loving the work of future NBA draft pick Jared Butler, who averages 16.6 points and two steals per game. He is a well-rounded player that has a big future in the pros.
We also like MaCio Teague, Davion Mitchell and Matthew Mayer. He has been knocking down important threes at the right time and we love his work ethic.
Overall, Baylor and Gonzaga match up evenly and it should be a quality and tight final.
Baylor vs Gonzaga Betting Pick
Bookmakers have Gonzaga at $1.45 to win the title, and that’s a fair line given how well it has played this season.
There is a sense of history about this Bulldogs team and that can be tough for the opposition to overcome. However, the Bears demand respect and punters are getting value odds.
We see more NBA-level talent on the Bears team than Gonzaga. They are defensively stout and Gonzaga won’t be getting open shots like they did against UCLA in the Final Four.
Baylor will look to stifle the offense and given how good Baylor’s offense can be, it’s good enough to match Gonzaga if it becomes a shootout.
Baylor is currently paying $2.64 to win the game and +4.5 in spread markets. We recommend taking Baylor with the points, as it should be a close contest either way.
For more value, take the Bears to win outright or go for a halftime/fulltime bet. The Bears to lead at halftime and fulltime pays $3.60, which is worth a nibble.
Bet: Baylor Bears +4.5
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.