The most anticipated college basketball game of the season is finally here, and BetRivers.com is proud to provide a wide variety of Gonzaga-Baylor odds, teasers, player and game props. The two best college basketball teams in the country made it to the final game of the season, with Gonzaga just a win away from college basketball immortality. But the Gonzaga-Baylor odds are much more interesting than we figured to expect. For just the fourth time all season, the Bulldogs are favored by less than double-digits.
Longtime national college basketball writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 Network, previews the Gonzaga-Baylor odds and drops knowledge on the best bets worth a wager in the 2021 NCAA National Championship Game.
RELATED: Gonzaga vs. Baylor Player Props
SPECIALS & BONUSES:
- Bet $100 on National Championship Game and get a $25 free bet for The Masters
- Baylor to win either half. Was -215.
- Gonzaga to lead by 15+ at any point. Was +255.
- Gonzaga -4.5 & 160+ total game points. Was +275.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: GONZAGA-BAYLOR ODDS
#1 GONZAGA BULLDOGS (31-0) vs. #1 BAYLOR BEARS (27-2)
TIME/TV: 9:20 p.m. ET on CBS
MONEYLINE: Gonzaga -200 ML, Baylor +163 ML
SPREAD: Gonzaga -4.5
OVER/UNDER: 159.5 points
Click here for the full list of Gonzaga-Baylor odds.
GONZAGA-BAYLOR BETTING TRENDS: The public is currently backing Gonzaga -4.5 with 51% of the spread handle, down from 60% on Sunday, and 49% of spread bets, down from 53% on Sunday. Surprisingly enough, the public is also on Baylor +188 ML with 56% of the ML hande down from 72% on Sunday, and 67% of the ML bets, down from 75% on Sunday.
GONZAGA-BAYLOR BETTING PREVIEW: This is the matchup that we all have been waiting for.
Gonzaga has been the best team in college basketball all season long. They’ve spent basically every waking day as the No. 1 team in all of the metrics. They’re making a run at an undefeated season. They are a special team, and they have a chance to make this season one of the best in the history of the sport.
But here’s the thing.
Baylor, before their COVID shutdown, was just as good as Gonzaga, if not better. In the days right before they went on their pause, Baylor had actually moved past Gonzaga and into the top spot on KenPom. They were a juggernaut. Then they spent 18 days in quarantine. Nothing can take you out of a rhythm quite like that.
For my money, however, Baylor is back. They had two weeks to get ready for the NCAA tournament, and enough time in between weekends to get back into a rhythm, drill down their defensive rotations and get everyone on the roster back into a rhythm shooting the ball. The result? Saturday’s demolition of Houston.
Gonzaga, on the other hand, is coming off of a game where they needed a banked-in 35-footer to be able to take down a UCLA team that began the tournament in the First Four. That’s not exactly promising. That said, according to Shot Quality — a metric project the expected score based on the shots that each team takes in a game — Gonzaga would have beaten UCLA by 22 points on average. The Bruins hit ridiculous jumper after ridiculous jumper and very nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets we’ve ever seen.
Thankfully, they did not, and we get the matchup we’ve all been waiting for.
And truth be told, my inclination here is to bet the over, hammer the over and find a way to parlay the over with anything that I can find. I just don’t see how either of these teams stop each other.
On the one hand, Baylor’s ball-screen offense is going to be a nightmare for Gonzaga to try and stop. Davion Mitchell is an absolute monster when Baylor creates space for him. You cannot keep him in front and he is an elite passer, which is a problem for Baylor’s opponents given that they are the best three-point shooting team in the sport. The Zags doesn’t have much rim protection, and Drew Timme is not a guy that can switch on to guards, either. It’s a really bad matchup for the Zags defensively, especially when Everyday John is playing the way he’s playing.
That said, if Baylor does what they do, if they try to play their game, I think that plays into the hands of Gonzaga as well. Mark Few’s team is the best transition team in the country. They have five guys that can grab-and-go. Suggs is unstoppable with a head of steam. Timme can beat every opposing big down the floor. If you don’t identify Corey Kispert within 30 feet, he’s burying a three on you. Most teams concede the offensive glass against Gonzaga. Baylor loves to pound the glass. I do not see them changing what they do when they are the better team, especially when the Zags can be beaten on the backboards. Think about Kispert trying to box out Mark Vital. Scary, right?
So my gut says that this game is played in the mid-80s, if not the 90s.
I love the OVER.
Picking a side is a little bit of a different proposition.
To be honest, this feels like a good buy-low spot on Gonzaga. Baylor just played their A-game against a team we all thought was overmatched in the Final Four — the best team Houston had played this season was Texas Tech, and they lost to Tulsa and East Carolina — in a blowout win while Gonzaga went to overtime in a game they should have won by 22 points because UCLA just did not miss any of the tough shots they took.
So I’m going to be on Gonzaga.
Beyond the buy-low stuff, I don’t see how Baylor is going to stop Drew Timme in the paint. He’s Everyday Jon, Flo Thamba and Mark Vital just aren’t built for slowing him down in the paint. Beyond that, Baylor’s no-middle defense can be beaten by teams that have big guards that can make probing, baseline drives, forces Baylor into the rotation, and then pick out a pass. Gonzaga starts three guards that are point guards by trade and are all 6-foot-4 or taller. They can run the offense through someone that isn’t being guarded by Davion Mitchell, and I think they will successfully.