The two best teams in the country are left standing in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, setting up a much-anticipated championship game between a pair of No. 1 seeds in the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears on Monday night in Indianapolis. Gonzaga (31-0) needed overtime and a miracle shot to beat UCLA in the Final Four to keep its hopes alive of becoming the first team in 45 years to complete a perfect season with a national title. Baylor (27-2) had a much easier time in its national semifinal with a lopsided victory over Houston to move one step closer to winning its first NCAA men’s basketball championship. 

Tip-off from Lucas Oil Stadium is set for 9:20 p.m. ET on CBS. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bulldogs as a 4.5-point favorite, while the over-under for total points scored is 159.5 in the latest Gonzaga vs. Baylor odds. Before making any Baylor vs. Gonzaga picks, you need to see the 2021 NCAA Tournament National Championship Game predictions from SportsLine’s Matt Severance.

A well-connected writer and handicapper who has worked in the industry since 2005, Severance is on a stunning run and called UCLA to cover vs. Gonzaga in the Final Four. He is on a blistering 138-101 roll on college basketball picks against the spread, returning $2,674 to $100 bettors during that span. 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: Gonzaga -210, Baylor +175
  • ZAGS: The Bulldogs have won 14 straight neutral-site games
  • BAY: The Bears are 6-0 against AP top-10 teams this season

Why Gonzaga can cover

The Bulldogs won 27 straight games by double digits before being pushed to the wire on Saturday night, and even then it took 57.6 percent shooting from UCLA to make it a close contest. The Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring by a wide margin at 91.6 points per game and have averaged 89.2 in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, notching at least 83 points in each victory. They also have the requisite star power in forwards Drew Timme and Corey Kispert and guard Jalen Suggs.

While the aforementioned trio averages a combined 52.1 points, opponents cannot sleep on the rest of Gonzaga’s lineup. Senior guard Joel Ayayi was superb in the national semifinal with a season-high 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, the eighth time in nine games that the team’s fourth-leading scorer reached double figures. Reserve guard Andrew Nembhard contributed 11 points and eight assists on Saturday, including a huge 3-pointer late in overtime.

Why Baylor can cover 

The Bears were equally as dominant as Gonzaga until a three-week COVID-19 pause in February, starting the season 17-0 and winning 15 of their games by double-digit margins. Saturday’s rout of Houston was the best performance since the lengthy hiatus for Baylor, which put on a clinic at both ends of the floor and took away any suspense by bolting to a 25-point halftime lead. The Bears also have the offense to keep pace with the Bulldogs, averaging 82.8 points per game.

Like Gonzaga, the Bears can match up with any team offensively behind the guard trio of Jared ButlerMaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell, their top three scorers who account for an average of 46.4 points. Baylor is the nation’s best 3-point shooting team at 41.2 percent and features five players who are converting at least 38.9 percent from behind the arc. Not to be overlooked is a defense that is allowing just 60.0 points in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

How to make Baylor vs. Gonzaga picks

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

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