Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) celebrates with teammate Jalen Suggs (1) after an Elite 8 game against Southern California in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis. Gonzaga won 85-66. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
- Opening odds have been released for the Final Four games at the 2021 NCAA Tournament
- Undefeated Gonzaga is the third team to bring a perfect record to the Final Four since the bracket expanded in 1985
- See below for opening odds analysis ahead of the Final Four
The Final Four is set, and thanks to UCLA, March Madness once again lived up to its name on Day 2 of the Elite Eight. The Bruins, who had to win a First Four game just to advance to the First Round, shocked 1-seed Michigan and will now face another 1-seed in Gonzaga.
The Bulldogs meanwhile, continued their dominant season by waxing USC on Tuesday, and have opened up as a big favorite in Saturday’s Final Four (April 3rd).
Final Four Opening Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total at DraftKings||Date / Time|
|(2) Houston||+5.0 (-107)||+185||Over 134.5 (-110)||Sat. 5:14 pm ET|
|(1) Baylor||-5.0 (-113)||-225||Under 134.5 (-110)|
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total||Date / Time|
|(11) UCLA||+14.0 (-107)||+750||Over 146.0 (-110)||Sat. 8:34 pm ET|
|(1) Gonzaga||-14.0 (-113)||-1250||Under 146.0 (-110)|
Odds as of March 30th.
Zags a Double-Digit Favorite Once Again
Gonzaga opened up as a 14-point favorite over 11-seed UCLA, marking the 22nd time in its past 23 games that they’ve been favored by at least 11 points. The lone time they were a single-digit favorite during that stretch was in the Elite Eight versus the Trojans, and they emerged with an 85-66 victory.
The men’s Final Four is set 🍿 pic.twitter.com/tLUc5MtbKk
— ESPN (@espn) March 31, 2021
The win was the Zags’ 27th straight by double-digits and 29th victory in 30 games by 10 or more points. Drew Timme led the way with 23 points, while Jalen Suggs and Corey Kispert each splashed 18.
Gonzaga is headed to the men’s Final Four! 🔥
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 31, 2021
Gonzaga shot 50% from the field, a number they’ve now hit in three of four tournament games, and are averaging 88.3 points per contest heading into the Final Four. They’re a perfect 4-0 ATS, covering closing lines of 33, 15.5, 12.5 and 9, and are just the third team since the bracket expanded in 1985 to bring a perfect record into the Final Four.
The Bruins meanwhile, shocked the college basketball world again on Tuesday, knocking off a top seed just two days after upsetting 2-seed Alabama.
UCLA advances to its 18th Final Four, the 2nd-most all-time after North Carolina’s 20 (excluding vacated appearances).
The Bruins are the 6th double-digit seed to reach the Final Four since seeding began in the NCAA Tournament in 1979. pic.twitter.com/acKFxjw5dF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 31, 2021
Johnny Juzang led the Bruins with 28 points, helping them become the first team since VCU in 2011 to advance to the Final Four after winning a First Four game. UCLA has held three of its past four opponents to 62 points or less and are 5-0 ATS at March Madness, covering by an average of 12.7 points per outing.
From the First Four to the Final Four.
UCLA keeps on dancing. pic.twitter.com/ts53seAezy
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 31, 2021
The total opened at 146, which is the fourth lowest over/under for a Bulldogs’ game this season, and a number that only one of their past 12 contests has failed to exceed.
Baylor Big Favorites
The other Final Four matchup pits 1-seed Baylor against 2-seed Houston. The Bears have been one of the best programs in the nation since 2019, and boast unquestionably the best backcourt in the country. Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell and Macio Teague are all stars, and proved that once again in the Elite Eight.
— Baylor University (@Baylor) March 30, 2021
The trio combined for 48 points, 11 assists and 9 boards, helping Baylor topple 3-seed Arkansas 81-72. The Bears are back in the Final Four for the first time since 1950, and have covered in three straight outings. They’ve limited their opposition to an average of 60 points through four games, and their 9 point win over the Razorbacks was the closest any team has come to them all tournament.
The Cougars meanwhile, have had by far the easiest road of any team to the Final Four. They’ve played four straight double-digit seeds, beating 12-seed Oregon State by 6 in the Elite Eight. Baylor will be their first top-10 opponent all season, and the first top-30 program they’ve faced since a win over Texas Tech in November.
Houston, we did it #ForTheCity!
— Houston Men’s Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@UHCougarMBK) March 30, 2021
Houston has covered in just two of four tournament games, but like the Bears boast a stingy defense. The Cougars held opponents to 58 points per outing in the regular season, and have allowed 61 points or fewer in each of its March Madness contests.
Not surprisingly, given the defensive prowess of both programs, the total for this matchup opened at just 134.5.
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Chris began his career at Hockey Night in Canada over 15 years ago. He has since worked at TSN for over 12 years as a writer, line-up producer, field producer, newsroom supervisor for Sportscentre, and presently as a promotions producer.