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NCAA Final Four Betting – Odds and Picks - 2021

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/02/2021

  • The Zags trampled opponents en route to a perfect 30-0 record winning the last 27 games each by at least 10 points
  • They will face the storied UCLA Bruins in one Final Four matchup needing just two more victories to become the first undefeated national champion in 45 years
  • Bears take on in-state opponent No. 2 seed Houston Cougars
  • Baylor is a -5 point favorite versus Houston

It’s come down to the last four teams standing in the college basketball season. One team was expected to be here, another had to play an additional game and two other high-seeds toppled the competition. The favorite, as they’ve been all season, is the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Zags trampled opponents en route to a perfect 30-0 record winning the last 27 games each by at least 10 points. They were the preseason favorite and if you were to throw down on the Zags to win the title now you’d buy at negative odds. 

Gonzaga will face the storied UCLA Bruins in one Final Four matchup needing just two more victories to become the first undefeated national champion in 45 years. The Zags won their four Tournament games by an average of 24 points and they are 4-0 ATS facing lines of at least 9-points in every game. UCLA was one of the last teams into the Tournament forced to play in the First Four. They overcame Michigan State in that one and ousted No. 2 seed Alabama and No. 1 seed Michigan last week. The No. 11 seed Bruins are catching 14-points on the college basketball betting line.

With all the upsets during March Madness we get a more traditional matchup when the No. 1 seed Baylor Bears take on in-state opponent No. 2 seed Houston Cougars. Baylor had a game with Gonzaga on the regular season schedule however that contest was canceled due to COVID issues in the Bears’ program. It’s quite possible we see that matchup on Monday if the top seeds take care of business. Baylor’s sharp-shooting three-point artists will attack one of the best defensive teams in college basketball looking to cover the 5-point opening spread.

NCAA Final Four
Date and Times: Saturday, April 3, 2021, 5:14 p.m. ET / 8:34 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Final Four TV Coverage: CBS

Houston Cougars +5
Baylor Bears -5
Over/Under 134

Contrasting styles mark the first matchup of Saturday’s Final Four. The Bears top the country in three-point accuracy and score 85.3 points per game thanks to a standout trio of guards. Houston, meanwhile, has not allowed more than 61 points in any Tournament game and yields an average of just 57.6 points while owning the best field goal percentage defense in the country. Baylor was jostling for the No. 1 ranking in the national polls with Gonzaga all season winning their first 18 games. The Bears have been able to win games in different ways this season making them a tough out. They struggled against Villanova making just 3 of 19 three-pointers yet still emerged with a 62-51 payout win.

The lower the score the better chance Houston has of winning. The offense is efficient led by Quentin Grimes, who scores 18 points per game, but it isn’t explosive. The key is DeJon Jarreau, a fierce defender who handcuffed scorers Buddy Boeheim of Syracuse and Oregon State’s Ethan Thomas in earlier matchups. He also adds 10.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He can’t defend everyone, though. The Bears will unleash a trio of scorers led by Jared Butler, who averages a team-best 16.5 points. MaCio Teague (15.9) and Davion Mitchell (14.0) can also fill it up.

Final Four Prediction: Baylor 71, Houston 63

UCLA Bruins +14
Gonzaga Bulldogs -14
Over/Under 145.5

Going from the First Four to the Final Four, the Bruins are the unlikely participant in the national semifinals. Many felt they shouldn’t have been in the Tournament after dropping four in a row before the madness, but they got hot at the right time coming back from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Michigan State in the First Four matchup. What makes UCLA scary in this game is that they have nothing to lose. They weren’t expected to be there in the first place and they just gained more confidence by taking down Bama and Michigan. Johnny Juzang will have to be the offensive sparkplug to keep the Bruins close. His 28 points were more than half the team’s total in their 51-49 win over Michigan. And they will have to score points to hang with the Zags.

You can’t say the Zags didn’t play anyone this season. Not only did they cruise through their West Coast Conference slate they upended ranked teams Kansas, West Virginia and Iowa during the nonconference schedule going 2-1 ATS. Their 87-82 win over WVU was the closest game they played all season and the only one decided by fewer than 10 points. The Zags rolled over USC in the Elite Eight in a game most thought would be closer than the 85-66 score. The Zags have scored at least 83 points in every Tournament game going 4-0 ATS and average over 93 points for the season. Four players score in double figures led by Drew Timme and all of them shoot better than 50 percent from the floor. And the Zags are just as good defensively, which is why they are considered the best college basketball team ever.

Final Four Prediction: Gonzaga 85, UCLA 69

Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today.

- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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