Baylor vs. Gonzaga: Last minute news and notes for bettors
National Championship Monday is here, and the game of the year is awaiting us!
Gonzaga and Baylor will play Monday night in the most anticipated national title game since 2005 when North Carolina played Illinois.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 4, 2021
The man who won his first national title 16 years ago?
The game that got scraped back in December is now happening, and it's for all the marbles! Ironically enough, that game was scheduled to take part in Indianapolis as well.
Gonzaga and Baylor were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in 15 of the 17 AP polls released this season. Baylor never dropped below No. 3, and Gonzaga has been No. 1 the entire season.
Read below for all the last-minute news and notes surrounding the 2021 NCAA National Championship Game, from injury updates to odds movement.
Early money on Baylor
When the line opened immediately following the classic between Gonzaga and UCLA Saturday night, the Zags were five-point favorites. However, the line quickly moved to 4.5.
Tue, April 6 2021, 1:00 AM
Gonzaga opened as -245 favorites on the moneyline, while Baylor opened at +188. Those odds also quickly moved with early money on the Bears. Some of this early money may just be an overreaction to immediately seeing Gonzaga pushed to the brink, while Baylor handled business with ease against Houston.
The early money also came in strong on the Under. The total moved from 160 to 159 after opening. This comes as a bit of a surprise given that the Zags average 91.6 points per game, and Baylor averages 82.8 points per game. They rank first and fourth in the entire nation in scoring per game.
Mark Few and Scott Drew have a budding friendship
These two coaches have quite a few things in common and the "bubble" in Indianapolis has really brought them together. The two were reportedly pickleball partners in Indianapolis, and they have yet to lose.
They have also texted each other pre-game prayers before every game the two have played during this tournament. They both love fishing, and have made plans to visit Few’s lake house this summer.
For all the coaches out there without college/pro playing experience: 3 of the 4 coaches in this year’s men’s Final Four didn’t play past high school.— Jon Beck (@CoachJonBeck) April 4, 2021
Mick Cronin (UCLA): HS only
Mark Few (Gonzaga): HS only
Scott Drew (Baylor): HS JV only
All are students/teachers of the game!
Both men will have to put their friendship aside on Monday night as they will be going for their first national championship.
How to watch the National Championship Game
Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, and Grant Hill will call their sixth NCAA National Championship Game as a team on CBS. Tracy Wolfson will be the lead floor reporter.
Fans can also watch the game free on their phone or tablet with March Madness Live, or through Paramount+. If you do not have a cable login to access CBS for a live stream, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV.
Which is your favorite bet for the NCAA National Championship Game?
Gonzaga is 5-1 ATS this season when facing ranked opponents. The Zags had a long spell this season without playing a ranked opponent, but they were extremely successful before that stretch. They are also 9-3 ATS in neutral site games this season. However, they are 8-11-1 ATS with equal rest as their opponent, and 4-5 ATS with only one day off between games.
Baylor is 9-2 ATS this season when they have equal rest as their opponent. They are also 10-3 ATS in non-conference games and 7-3 ATS in a neutral site.
The Over is 9-3 in Baylor games when they play a ranked opponent, and 4-1 when they have one day off between games. The Over is 12-8 in Gonzaga games when both teams have equal rest, but 2-3 in NCAA Tournament games so far this season.