UCLA Bruins vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four Betting Picks, Lines & Predictions
The second NCAA Final Four matchup will feature two teams making history. UCLA is only the second team ever to come this far from the First Four. On the other side, Gonzaga can become the first school since 1976 with a perfect season.
The Bruins are without a doubt the best story of the tournament. They arrived with a 17-9 regular-season record and a 4-game losing streak but surprised everybody with their tournament run. To get here, UCLA won twice in the overtime and edged Michigan by only 2 points in the Final 8. They have covered the spread in all five games, entering 4 of them as an underdog. Historically, the Bruins are no strangers to Final Four, having won 11 championships. However, the last one came way back in 1995.
Gonzaga came to the tournament as a leading contender and has fully justified all the hype. They’re demolishing their rivals, storming through the bracket with an average margin of 21.4 points. The Bulldogs have also covered the spread in all matchups so far. Over the whole season, they’re now 30-0 straight up and 16-12-2 ATS.
UCLA Bruins vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four Betting Odds And Line Movement
The opening odds favored Gonzaga by -13.5. The line has even moved up since then, now standing at -14. It’s one of the largest spreads ever in Final Four, and the biggest one since 1999. The total has opened at 146, but with early money favoring the Under, it has dropped to 145.5.
Notes On The UCLA Bruins
Since coming to the tournament UCLA has raised its defense to another level. Their impressive defensive performance brought them the OT win against Alabama and kept Michigan quiet in the last few minutes. Before the tournament, the Bulldogs ranked only 108th in the nation in points allowed. Still, they’ll have to find another level defensively if they are to stand any chance on Saturday. Furthermore, they’ll need to be much more efficient on offense, and have more players step up. Against Michigan, only 5 Bruins scored points.
So far, Johnny Juzang has carried a gigantic part of the load on offense. The sophomore guard is leading the team in scoring with 21.6 ppg at the tournament. Besides, he hit a ton of clutch and incredibly difficult shots.
Notes On The Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Bulldogs came to the tournament as one of the best offensive teams ever and have more than lived up to the expectations. The ease with which they score points is astonishing even as an average 3-point shooting team. The UCS was touted as perhaps the best defensive team at the tournament and still got torched by the Bulldogs with 85 points. So far, no team has managed to keep up with their frantic pace. The Zags have also made significant strides on defense. They’re keeping rivals to 39.84% from the field and a measly 28% from beyond the arc.
The trouble with stopping Gonzaga is that they have threats all over the floor. The offensive four-headed monster features Drew Timme, Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs, and Joel Ayayi. In this group, Ayayi has the lowest scoring average with more than a decent 13.8 ppg. The four of them are shooting a combined 45.25% from the field.
UCLA Bruins vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Final Four Betting Pick: UCLA +14
Gonzaga looks unstoppable, but the +14 spread is still too much for the Final Four. UCLA is tough and resilient and will do everything possible to slow the Bulldogs down. If they manage to get more players involved on offense, the Bruins should be able to extend their ATS streak.