Gonzaga vs. Baylor Betting Predictions – By Conor Allen

NCAAB March Madness
Gonzaga vs. Baylor NCAA Basketball

No. 1 seed Gonzaga takes on No.1 seed Baylor for a championship in the matchup that many expected. These two powerhouses were supposed to meet back in December in the regular season, but their game was canceled following two positive COVID-19 tests in the Gonzaga program. They’ll finally get the chance Monday to see who’s the better team. I think Gonzaga completes their undefeated run and gets the win.

Gonzaga vs. Baylor Betting Odds

Gonazaga finally looked human Saturday in their Final Four game against UCLA. The Bulldogs needed all of regulation and every second of overtime to beat the underdog Bruins, 93-90. Freshman Jalen Suggs hit a 3 at the buzzer to seal the win. The Zags won by less than double-digits for only the second time this season in a game that featured 15 ties and 19 lead changes. The Bruins came into the game as 14 point underdogs and almost got out with a win.

The Bulldogs found themselves in unfamiliar territory in Saturday’s semifinal: they trailed in the second half for the first time in five games of tournament play. UCLA found ways to score, but fortunately for the Bulldogs they had plenty of offense to counter with. Suggs scored 16 points, while Drew Timme had 25 on 11-for-15 shooting and Jay Ayai finished with 22 points.

Four UCLA starters scored in double-digits, including Johnny Juzang’s team-leading 29 points, and the Bruins shot 57.6 percent from the field. Gonzaga will need to put together a much better defensive effort Monday to get past Baylor.

The Zags have a lot of stars. One week it’s Drew Timme and his moustache, the next it’s Jalen Suggs and his game-winning 3 at the buzzer. Regardless of who shines Monday for the Bulldogs, Baylor will have their hands full.

Drew Timme is shooting 65.4 percent from the field and has replaced Corey Kispert as the team’s leading scorer (19.2 PPG) while grabbing a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game. First-Team All-American Kispert is averaging 18.8 points per game and shooting 44.5 percent from 3. Joel Ayai (12.2 PPG) (39.4% from 3) and Suggs (14.1 PPG/4.6 APG) all contribute to a Zags offense that is averaging 91.6 points per game this season, good for No.1 in D1 play.

Baylor had no trouble taking down No. 2 seed Houston Saturday 78-59. Five players scored in double-digits for Baylor, including Jared Butler, who finished with 17. Davion Mitchell had 12 points on 11 assists, and MaCio Teague finished with 11 points as the Bears shot 45.8 percent from 3 and outrebounded the Cougars 33-28.

If Gonzaga thought UCLA was tough offensively, they should be even more worried about Baylor. The Bears have a variety of offensive weapons, including Butler, who is averaging a team-leading 16.6 points per game this season and is shooting 47.2 percent from 3. Davion Mitchell (51.7 percent shooting on 14 PPG, 45.3 percent from 3), MaCio Teague (15.8 PPG) and Adam Flagler (9 PPG) (42.2 percent from 3) round out a group of guards that find ways to score. Baylor comes into Monday’s game averaging 82.8 points per game, good for 11th in the nation.

The legal March Madness New Jersey betting sites have Gonzaga listed as 4.5 point favorites. Both teams are 4-1 ATS in their last five games. We know now that an upset is a real possibility; if UCLA can come as close as they did, Baylor certainly can. But I have to think Gonzaga will put up a stronger defensive performance than they did against the Bruins. For that reason, I like Gonzaga -4.5 at -110 odds (888SPORT). I think the Bears will match the Bulldogs shot for shot offensively, and Gonzaga will have to battle out another close one similar to Saturday’s game to take the crown.

With a plethora of offensive stars on both teams, there are plenty of opportunities for player-specific bets for Monday’s game at the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey. Once again, I like Drew Timme to hit the over on his point total. Look for Timmee Over 21.5 at -102 odds (FanDuel) Timme is averaging 22 points per game for the tournament. I also Corey Kispert Over 15.5 at -113 odds (Sugar House) Kispert is averaging 16.8 points per game for the tournament. Both teams can put up big points if all of their offensive threats are gelling, so I like the Over (159.5) at -109 odds (888Sport).

Gonzaga Baylor
888Sport
-210 +165
Sugar House
-210 +165
FanDuel
-200 +168

My Prediction

Gonzaga -4.5 points

I like Gonzaga to win this one, but this will not be a double-digit demolition. Look for Baylor to hang around in a thriller that ultimately goes to the Bulldogs

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Conor Allen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he roots passionately for the 49ers, Warriors and the UC Berkeley Golden Bear football team. After previously spending several years in the Boston area he is also not ashamed to root for the Patriots. Conor currently writes about college basketball for UsaLegalBetting and blogs about a variety of sports, including the NFL at https://herecomestheblitz8.blogspot.com. He enjoys performing improv comedy and trail running in his spare time.

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