Smart Money Betting Picks For the NCAA Men’s Championship Game
Well, we’ve reached the end. This feels like high school prom. We know it’s all coming to a close but going out with one last shebang before it’s all over. It feels like just yesterday I was writing season previews and we were wondering if the season was even going to happen. Now, we have a National Championship game between two powerhouse 1-seeds that will cap off one of the most unique and memorable college basketball seasons we’ve ever had.
It’s the matchup we’ve all been asking for. But first, let’s backtrack a little bit. I was dead wrong about the Gonzaga vs. UCLA game. What a freaking game that was. Hats off to UCLA for an amazing fight and for shocking 99.9% of the country.
Now, onto tonight. When I first realized these teams were matching up in the Championship Game, I figured the spread would be closer to 7 or 8. I was surprised to see that it’s so low, but I guess this past weekend we learned that Gonzaga is in fact human. Throw in that Baylor made ridiculously easy work of Houston, and here we are.
What We Learned From Gonzaga's Game Against UCLA
I have a really hard time picking against the Zags tonight. My one gripe with them throughout this season was that they haven’t been battle-tested and that we have no clue how they’ll handle a close game. We got a view into that on Saturday night, and they absolutely passed the test. Sure, it was a miracle heave to win the game, but the Zags stepped up in big moments in a close game and proved that they won’t tuck their tails when things get close.
If you want to beat Gonzaga, you have to play a nearly perfect game. We saw that on Saturday with UCLA hitting just about every shot they took, and they still took the L. I think the Baylor Bears are on another level than UCLA and can give the Gonzaga Bulldogs some serious trouble. But I think they'll also have to play just about a perfect game if they want to knock them off.
Gonzaga’s offense is just too hard to stifle. They averaged 91.6 points per game this season and have scored 83 or more points in every Tournament game so far. If you want to take them down, you either need to go blow for blow offensively or try to shut down their multiple scoring options and grind out a W.
I would love to see Baylor pull it off, but I think it’s just too tough. If you can eliminate one of their scoring threats, there’s just another one who can come back and hurt you. It’s March, so anything can happen, but I’ll be surprised if the Zags don’t cover here.
As an aside, thank you to all of you for following along throughout the college hoops season. It's been a fun ride, and hopefully, we all get rewarded with a fun and exciting championship game tonight. And more importantly, let’s win some money together.