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NCAA Tournament 2021 – #1 Baylor Bears (27-2) vs #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (31-0)

Expect Close Game

For our Baylor vs Gonzaga pick the undefeated Bulldogs are the favorite team. The most advantageous point spread for the Zags is -4.0 (-115). On the other hand, you can bet underdog Baylor at +4.5 (-110). The Bears have been to the final NCAAM Tournament game once before. That was 1948 when Kentucky beat them 58-42. In this tournament’s Final Four, Baylor easily beat the #2 Houston Cougars 78-59. In this edition of March Madness, the Bears’ average margin of victory has been 13.2 points.

Gonzaga got to this 2021 NCAAM Tournament Final game by squeaking by the #11 UCLA Bruins in OT 93-90. Like Baylor, Gonzaga has never won the national title, and they’ve made one appearance in the final tourney game. In that game, which was played in 2017, the number one Bulldogs lost to the number one North Carolina Tar Heels 65-71. In this NCAAM Tournament, Gonzaga’s average margin of victory has been 16.5 points.

The Baylor Bears will meet the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Tipoff will be 9:15 pm ET on Monday, April 5, 2021.

Baylor vs Gonzaga Pick – Stats

Here’s the skinny on this game. The Bulldogs are averaging 91.6 PPG and allowing opponents 69.4 PPG. On the other hand, the Bears are putting in 82.8 PPG while holding opponents to 60.0 PPG. In PF/PA, Gonzaga is +8.8 while Baylor is +9.4. Those simple stats could be the tipping point in this pick.

In other statistical categories, Baylor is shooting 48.8% from the floor. Gonzaga is shooting 55.0%. The Zags are better in rebounds by 1.7 and assists by 2.0. On the other hand, the Bears are a bit better on steals (+0.8) and blocks (+0.8). Two other very important stats have the Zags sinking 72.7% of their frees and the Bears completing 69.7%. Conversely, Baylor is better on threes, shooting 41.8% to Gonzaga’s 36.5%.

Key Players

Baylor offers three guards who are scoring in double-digits. Jared Butler leads the group with 16.6 PPG. He’s shooting 41.5% from downtown. Butler is also good for 4.7 APG. Davion Mitchell is shooting 45.3% from the arc while averaging 14.1 PPG and making 5.3 APG. He is completing 51.7% of his field-goal attempts. Additionally, MaCio Teague is recording 15.7 PPG and grabbing 4.1 RPG. He’s shooting 47.6% from the field. In the paint, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is averaging 6.4 PPG and 5.1 RPG.

Like the Bears, Gonzaga has lights-out scorers. Four players are good for double-digit totals. Two of those players are forwards Corey Kispert, who leads the team with 19.2 PPG and a 65.4% field-goal success rate, and Drew Timme. Timme is averaging 18.8 PPG. He’s good on 44.5% of his three-point attempts. Together, the frontcourt duo is averaging 12.1 RPG. Guards Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi are the leaders in the backcourt. Suggs is recording 4.6 APG, hitting for 14.1 PPG and averaging 5.5 RPG. Ayayi is good on 57.5% of his field-goal tries. He’s hitting for 12.2 PPG and grabbing 7.0 RPG

Baylor vs Gonzaga Pick – Final Thoughts

Our Baylor vs Gonzaga pick finds that the UCLA Bruins proved that the Zags are vulnerable. The fact is in their Final Four game, the Bruins came within a whisper of beating Gonzaga. The Bulldogs are perfect on the year. However, they have barely been tested. Baylor has played a much tougher regular-season schedule and has lost just twice. In the 2021 tournament, the Bears have won their games by an average of 13.2 points, while Gonzaga has won by an average of 16.5. We like the #1 Baylor Bears at +4.5 (-110).

#1 Baylor Bears vs #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs

Baylor Bears at +4.5 (-110)

pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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