Gonzaga vs. Baylor: Vegas Odds, Prop Bets, Prediction for 2021 NCAA Championship

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IApril 5, 2021

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few watches from the bench during the first half of a men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game against UCLA, Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The 2020-21 men's college basketball season has been much different than most before it. Over the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted the sports world, and college hoops was no different.

The schedule was constantly shifting because of cancellations and postponements, while many games were played without fans in attendance (or at a limited capacity). However, a season was played, and March Madness will be successfully completed on Monday night.

That's when Gonzaga and Baylor will face off in the final game of this year's NCAA tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, which served as the host city for the entire tourney this year to reduce travel. The Bulldogs and Bears were the top two seeds in the tournament, and they've each outlasted all the competition they've faced to reach this point.

Here's a look at the full betting information for this year's national title game, along with predictions for how it will unfold.


National Championship Game Odds

Spread: Gonzaga (-4.5)

Over/Under: 159 total points

Moneyline: Gonzaga -210 (bet $210 to win $100); Baylor +163 (bet $100 to win $163)

A complete list of odds and prop bets are available at DraftKings Sportsbook


Betting Preview, Predictions

Baylor is a strong team. It's lost only two games this season, earning a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament and rebounding from a loss in the semifinals of the Big 12 tourney to reach the national championship game for only the second time in program history (and the first since 1948).

But this is going to be a greater challenge than the Bears have faced all season. Because Gonzaga has the potential to go down as one of the greatest teams of all time.

The Bulldogs are looking to become the first team to win the national title and finish a season undefeated since Indiana in the 1975-76 campaign. Gonzaga has won each of its first 31 games, and its margin of victory has been 10 or more points in 29 of those contests.

While the Bulldogs are coming off their closest game of the season (a 93-90 overtime victory over No. 11-seeded UCLA in the Final Four on Saturday night), they've proved all year that they're the top team in the country. And while Baylor is going to keep things competitive early, Gonzaga is going to be too talented to topple.

One smart prop bet to consider making is that Gonzaga will be leading at halftime. The line for the Bulldogs to be ahead is at 2.5 points, and they'll likely be up by more than that at the end of the first half.

Baylor won't be too far behind, and it will have a chance to make a run at the lead in the second half. But Gonzaga has led at halftime in each of its first five games of the tournament, and that's unlikely to change now, as the Bulldogs have proved they can get out to early leads, even against strong competition.

Another prop bet to consider is picking the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Two Gonzaga players have the best odds of winning the award—freshman guard Jalen Suggs (+100) and sophomore forward Drew Timme (+100). And if the Bulldogs win the national title, one of those two is likely to capture the award.

Timme is Gonzaga's leading scorer (19.2 points per game) and rebounder (7.1 per game), and he's been impressive throughout the tournament. However, everybody is going to remember Suggs' deep game-winning three-pointer that he banked in as time expired to beat UCLA. So if Suggs has a solid showing in the national title game, he could be the favorite to win Most Outstanding Player.

The prediction here is that Gonzaga will win, while Suggs receives the top individual honor, capping a strong finish to his first (and likely only) season with the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga will make history, and it will cover the spread against Baylor while doing so. Expect the Bulldogs to make some key shots down the stretch to put away the Bears, as they'll finish an incredible season with yet another strong victory.

Prediction: Gonzaga 77, Baylor 72


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