After beginning the 2020-21 season with three comfortable victories, the Baylor Bears were set for a showdown with the Gonzaga Bulldogs, who also won their first three contests. However, an outbreak of COVID-19 within the Bulldogs’ program forced their meeting on Dec. 5 to be cancelled. Baylor (27-2) finally gets another chance to prove itself — and to reign supreme in college basketball – when it takes on Gonzaga (31-0) in the 2021 NCAA Tournament National Championship Game on Monday. The Bulldogs had their string of 27 straight double-digit victories snapped when they pulled out a thrilling 93-90 overtime win over UCLA in the Final Four, while the Bears trounced Houston 78-59 for their fourth double-figure triumph of the Tournament.

Tip-off from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is set for 9:20 p.m. ET on CBS. The Bulldogs are 4.5-point favorites in the latest Gonzaga vs. Baylor odds at William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 159.5. Before making any Baylor vs. Gonzaga picks, you need to check out the 2021 NCAA Tournament National Championship Game predictions from SportsLine’s Josh Nagel.

A Nevada-based handicapper with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel has had a particularly keen eye for the Bears. He is 14-5 in his last 19 against the spread college basketball picks involving Baylor, earning a profit of $868. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, he has set his sights on Baylor vs. Gonzaga in the 2021 NCAA Tournament National Championship Game. You can head to SportsLine to see his picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Gonzaga vs. Baylor:

  • Gonzaga vs. Baylor spread: Gonzaga -4.5
  • Gonzaga vs. Baylor over-under: 159.5 points
  • Gonzaga vs. Baylor money line: Bulldogs -200, Bears +175
  • ZAGS: The Bulldogs lead the nation in several offensive categories, including scoring (91.6 points per game)
  • BAY: The Bears are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games as underdogs

Why Gonzaga can cover 

The country’s highest-scoring offense hasn’t slowed down much in the NCAA Tournament 2021, producing an average of 89.2 points per game. With Saturday’s hero, Jalen Suggs, running the point, Gonzaga also tops the nation in field-goal percentage (55), 2-point percentage (63.9), scoring margin (22.5 points) and points in the paint (49.6). All five starters against UCLA reached double digits in points for the Bulldogs, with Drew Timme leading the way with 25 points.

Gonzaga needed only 10 points from Timme in its 98-55 first-round laugher against Norfolk State, but the sophomore forward scored at least 22 in each of his next four outings, becoming the first Bulldog ever to post four 20-point performances in one NCAA Tournament. Timme did not turn over the ball versus UCLA, making him just the fifth player in the last 40 years to record 25 points and zero turnovers in a Final Four contest. Junior guard Joel Ayayi also had a strong game against the Bruins as he went 9-for-12 from the field en route to a season-high 22 points, including 16 in the first half.

Why Baylor can cover

After losing to Oklahoma State in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament, the Bears have had little trouble in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve won their five contests by an average of 15.2 points, defeating four of their opponents by double figures and the other by nine. They’re coming off their most impressive performance in the competition, a 78-59 triumph over Houston in which they led by 25 points at the half.

Jared Butler scored all of his team-high 17 points in the first 20 minutes as Baylor built the fourth-largest halftime lead in NCAA Tournament history. Butler is first on the club in scoring (16.6 points per game) and also leads the Bears in steals (two). Fellow junior guard Davion Mitchell, whose only previous double-double this season came on Dec. 30 against Alcorn State (10 points, 10 assists), recorded 12 points and 11 assists in the win over the Cougars.

How to make Gonzaga vs. Baylor picks

Nagel is leaning under on the total and he’s found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Baylor vs. Gonzaga? And which critical X-factor makes one side hit hard? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from expert who has crushed his college basketball picks.

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