Monday Night's College Basketball National Championship Game: Will Baylor Upset Gonzaga?

Basketball Apr 05, 2021

Monday night's NCAA college basketball championship game is sure to draw a huge amount of betting interest.  It appears that the best two teams in college basketball have made it into the finals, so the matchup is perfect for handicapping.

Gonzaga (undefeated at 31-0) has been a beast all season, beating all but one opponent by 10+ points or more, that was, until they faced a huge scare on Saturday night versus tournament cinderella UCLA.  The Bruins forced overtime against the Zags in what turned out of be an epic game for the ages.  That nail-bitter won by 3 points on a last-second Hail Mary shot in OT was only the second of 31 games this season that Gonzaga was really tested by an opponent.  That "test" should be even bigger tonight.  

Meanwhile, Baylor (27-2) detroyed Houston in the semi-finals, essentially taking command of the game right from the tip-off.  So, heading into tonight's contest, Gonzaga escaped a huge upset, while Baylor coasted to victory.  One might even say Baylor is in better form at the moment, beating every March Madness opponent by 9 points or more.

Nonetheless, Gonzaga still enjoys the overwhelming respect and support of bettors as the superior team.  The Zags are currently -4.5 favourites versus Baylor in the finals.  Here's a look at the key numbers going into tonight's game, courtesy of SPREADS.CA, Canada's best bet:

Gonzaga (1 seed) vs Baylor (1 seed)

Gonzaga (31-0)

— ranked #1 by KenPom
— Tempo: #7
— Experience: #248
— Continuity: #179
— Gonzaga has two wins this season by less than 10 points.
— Gonzaga played three players 40:00+ in Saturday’s OT win.
— Zags are shooting 63.9% inside arc (#1)
— Gonzaga gets 57.7% of its points on 2-point shots (#26)
— Zags (+1) lost 71-65 to North Carolina in national title game, four years ago.
— Baylor played 15 games this season against top 50 teams; Gonzaga played 11.

Baylor (27-2)

— ranked #2 by KenPom
— Tempo: #201
— Experience: #85
— Continuity: #32
— Baylor is 10-2 since its 21-day COVID pause.
— Bears are shooting 41.2% on the arc (#1)
— Baylor forces turnovers 24.6% of time (#3)
— All five of Baylor’s NCAA wins were by 9+ points.
— Bears are grabbing 36.9% of their missed shots (#6)
— This is Baylor’s first Final Four since 1950

— Since 1987, when two #1-seeds made the championship games, favorites were 4-3 ATS in those games.

Note: Data courtesy of Armadillo Sports.