UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Betting Preview
The NCAA Tournament Final Four contests are set and scheduled for Saturday night. The first game of the evening will feature the Baylor Bears and the Houston Cougars. The victor in this contest will face the winner of the UCLA Bruins and the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The UCLA and Gonzaga national semifinal is scheduled to tip off at 8:34 pm ET on CBS. The Bulldogs are big favorites.
They will open the contest as 14-point favorites with a moneyline of -1100 at America’s Bookie. The Bruins are +700 to win, with the over/under set at 145.5 points.
UCLA Bruins Preview
The UCLA Bruins are the hottest team in the nation. The Bruins started their NCAA Tournament campaign with a First Four round win over Michigan State. They took down the Spartans in overtime by a six-point margin.
The Bruins then blew out sixth-seeded BYU and 14th-seeded Abilene Christian on the opening weekend of the tournament. People took notice of UCLA, but nobody would have imagined what it would do a few days later.
In the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, UCLA bested second-seeded Alabama and top-seeded Michigan. They beat Alabama by 10 in overtime and then shocked the Wolverines, 51-49.
Johnny Juzang has led the Bruins throughout the entire tournament. In 2020-21, Juzang has averaged 15.1 points per game, shooting 43% from the field. He will need to play the game of his life to beat the Bulldogs.
Gonzaga Bulldogs Preview
There have been seven undefeated national champions in the NCAA Tournament era. The first was San Francisco in 1955-56. The last team to accomplish this monumental feat was Indiana in 1975-76.
Gonzaga’s opponent, UCLA, holds the record for undefeated championship seasons with four of the seven in history. The Bulldogs are 30-0, and they are two wins away from completing the perfect season.
Gonzaga’s closest tournament margin came against eighth-seeded Oklahoma in the second round. In the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, the Bulldogs defeated Creighton and USC by a combined 37 points. The Bulldogs are that good, and there is no other way to describe this fact.
The team is led by its offense, which is averaging 91.6 points per game. The offense is more potent than the defense, but Gonzaga is a complete team.
Drew Timme is averaging 19 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. UCLA will have difficulty containing him on Saturday night.
Gonzaga on the moneyline has no value at -1100, so steer clear of this wager. UCLA at +700 has tremendous upside. A $20 bet would yield $140 in winnings. But, I do not believe that Gonzaga is going to lose this game.
Nevertheless, this is March Madness, and UCLA is on a roll. This must be factored into the betting equation.
A risk bet is taking UCLA straight up, but I like them to cover. A 14-point spread is generous, in my opinion.
Nearly all of Gonzaga’s wins have come by double digits, but the Bruins are hot. I think this game is close, and UCLA covers.
Pick: UCLA +14