Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert dunks during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against BYU in Spokane, Wash., in this Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, file photo. Kispert has made The Associated Press All-America first team, announced Tuesday, March 16, 2021.(AP Photo/Young Kwak, File)
- Gonzaga takes on Baylor in the 2021 NCAA Tournament National Championship tonight (April 5) at 9:20pm ET
- The public is 10-4 against the spread in tournament games since the Sweet 16 started
- See the breakdown of money (betting handle) and bets for the National Championship
After a year that saw the entire March Madness tournament canceled, we have officially made it to the National Championship for the 2020-21 college basketball season. While there were many surprises along the way – UCLA, Oregon State, Oral Roberts, Abilene Christian etc – tonight’s National Championship between Gonzaga and Baylor is what most expected when the tournament tipped off.
The top two seeds in the tournament will do battle at 9:20pm ET tonight (Monday, April 5), with the Bulldogs listed as 4.5-point favorites right now. The total is set at a whopping 160 at the moment, as both teams love to push the pace and can score at will.
What does the public think of tonight’s game, though? Since the Sweet 16 started, the public has been an impressive 10-4 against the spread, but were just 1-1 in the Final Four on Saturday. Let’s have a look at the betting handle (money percentage) and bet percentage splits, courtesy of DraftKings.
Gonzaga vs Baylor Betting Trends
|Team||Point Spread||ATS Money %||ATS Bet %||Total Points||O/U Money %||O/U Bet %||Moneyline||ML Money %||ML Bet %|
As you can see, the public is pretty split on this one. The money bet against the spread slightly favors Gonzaga at 51%, but the public obviously sees more value in Baylor on the moneyline at +163 odds.
The total opened at 159, and is up to 160 now as 56% of the money wagered is on the over.
Gonzaga has been favored in every game they’ve played this season. The fewest points they’ve laid was the four they gave Kansas on opening night back in November – a game they won 102-90, covering the spread. The 4.5 points they’re laying against Baylor is tied for the second-fewest they’ve given in a game. The Zags were 4.5-point favorites against Iowa back in December, and covered that spread as well.
The Bulldogs have laid single-digit points in just five games this season, and are 4-1 against the spread in those games. They’re also now 4-1 against the spread in the tournament, after UCLA snapped their perfect streak in the Final Four.
Gonzaga closed between 14 and 14.5-point favorites against the Bruins on Saturday. But they needed a near half-court buzzer beater in overtime to advance, only winning the game by three points.
Baylor, on the other hand, easily covered the spread in their Final Four matchup against Houston. The Bears were 5-point favorites, and ended up winning by 19. Tonight’s championship will be the first time Baylor is an underdog this season.
They’ve gone 19-10 against the spread and are also 4-1 ATS in the tournament, failing to cover in their first round matchup with Hartford.
Baylor has also been more reliable when it comes to hitting overs. The over is 18-11 in Baylor games, but just 3-2 so far in the tournament. The over is only 16-15 in Gonzaga games this season, and just 2-3 in the tournament.
The 160-point total for tonight’s game will be the highest total either team has seen in March Madness. Baylor’s average total at sportsbooks in the dance has been 140.3, while Gonzaga’s has been 153.6.
If you’re looking for some more help on who to bet tonight, check out our expert’s picks.
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After working in TV, Matt turned his focus towards numbers, specifically odds. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD’s Editor-in-Chief, credited with creating our futures trackers, SBD’s score predictor, SBD Sharp, and his own model for calculating NFL SOS, among other products.