The Final Four nightcap on Saturday will see UCLA try to shock to the world against undefeated Gonzaga, and BetRivers.com is proud to provide a wide variety of Gonzaga-UCLA odds, teasers, game, and player props. The undefeated Bulldogs are 30-0 and just two wins away from a National Championship and a perfect record, something that has not been done since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. But before etching their names into the history books, Gonzaga needs to beat No. 11 seed UCLA on Saturday night.
Longtime national college basketball writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 Network, previews the Gonzaga-UCLA odds and drops knowledge on the best bets worth a wager.
FINAL FOUR PICKS: GONZAGA-UCLA ODDS
#1 GONZAGA BULLDOGS (30-0) vs. #11 UCLA BRUINS (22-9)
TIME/TV: 8:34 p.m. ET, CBS
MONEYLINE: Gonzaga -1250 ML, UCLA +650 ML
SPREAD: Gonzaga -14
OVER/UNDER: 145.5 points
Click here for the full list of Baylor-Houston odds.
GONZAGA-UCLA BETTING TRENDS: Saturday will mark the ninth time this season UCLA will enter a game as a betting underdog, with the Bruins going 5-3 ATS and 4-4 SU in those games. However, Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in the NCAA Tournament and the public is backing them to cover with 80% of the spread handle and 65% of the spread bets. The public is also backing Gonzaga to win outright, with 72% of the ML handle and 51% of the spread bets, both the lowest percentages of any Gonzaga tournament game thus far.
The largest current game bet is a $6,000 wager by an Indiana BetRivers.com bettor on UCLA +14.5 (-106) that has a potential payout of $11,640.
GONZAGA-UCLA PREVIEW: UCLA’s game plan for Saturday should be obvious to anyone that has paid any attention to Gonzaga this season. To beat the Zags, you need to be able to do three things:
- 1. You cannot let Gonzaga get out in transition. They are as good as any team in the country when they can run. You may be shocked to be finding this out right now, but Jalen Suggs was a quarterback when he was in high school. At this point, the legend says that he had an offer to play for the Minnesota Vikings coming out of high school. He’s as good as anyone in the country when it comes to throwing hit-ahead passes, and his speed — combined with Drew Timme’s ability to beat opposing bigs down the floor and Corey Kispert’s ability to find some space against a transitioning defense — makes them impossible to stop.
I mean, this team is elite in transition when they are running off of made baskets. If you allow them to play in transition, to run off of missed shots or live-ball turnovers, you’ll have no chance. None. Zero. It’s as simple as that.
- 2. You cannot let Drew Timme beat you. You have to find a way to be able to hold him in check. Over the last three games, he’s averaging 25 points, eight boards and four assists while shooting 64 percent from the floor. He lit up Evan Mobley last time out, and Mobley is supposed to be one of the best interior defenders in the sport. If you have to send help, you send help. But you need to make sure that you don’t lose to Drew Timme layups.
- 3. Make someone other than Kispert shoot threes. Kispert is an elite three-point shooter, one of the best that you are going to see in the college ranks. But the rest of the guys on Gonzaga’s roster are just OK from beyond the arc. Suggs is streaky. Nembhard and Ayayi can make them, but those are the shots that you’ll live and die with.
We’ve seen teams try, and, to a point, succeed doing these things this season. Creighton did a really good job taking everyone other than Nembhard and Ayayi away early on. Then those two hit five threes in the first ten minutes, Creighton had to adjust and it was over. St. Mary’s did a really good job at keeping the Zags out of transition and limiting their ability to get into the paint the first time they played. That last for about 15 minutes, the Gaels went up by as many as 14 points and they still lost by 16. USC, we thought, would be able to take away the paint as effectively as anyone, but Timme made Evan Mobley look like Evan Almighty.
I say all that to say this: I just do not believe that anyone is going to be capable of keeping Gonzaga from being able to do what they want to do, regardless of how good they are. Combine that with the fact that UCLA is only in the Final Four because Alabama and Michigan both had outlier bad free throw shooting performances, and I will be all over Gonzaga in this spot. I also bet the over already. This feels like a blowout is in the works.