This Final Four matchup sees the UCLA Bruins looking to continue their historic run against the historically great Gonzaga Bulldogs. This game features two incredible and incredibly different stories. Gonzaga is just two wins away from a perfect season capped off by a national championship. UCLA is just two wins away from pulling off the impossible. Unfortunately, one of these great stories has to come to an end on Saturday night. Bettors have moved the line slightly as early tickets have come in on Gonzaga. It’s time to continue our NCAA Odds series and make a UCLA-Gonzaga prediction and pick.
Here is how the sportsbooks have set the opening UCLA-Gonzaga odds:
NCAA Odds: UCLA-Gonzaga Odds
UCLA Bruins +14 (-105)
Gonzaga Bulldogs -14 (-115)
Over 145.5 Points (-110)
Under 145.5 Points (-110)
Why UCLA Could Cover The Spread
The UCLA Bruins are just the second team in tournament history to reach the Final Four after playing in the First Four. The last team to do this was the VCU Rams back in 2011. It’s incredible to think about the fact that UCLA barely squeaked their win into the tournament and had to face Michigan State as a dog in the play-in round. Since then, the Bruins have beaten two of the top seeds in Michigan and Alabama to get to this point.
UCLA is led by sophomore guard Johnny Juzang (15.1 ppg). Juzang has been phenomenal for the Bruins, averaging 21.6 points per game through his first five tournament games. He dropped 28 points in the Elite Eight victory over Michigan, which was more than half of UCLA’s points in that game. He will need to be better than that for his team to have a chance to knock off the Zags. UCLA will look to slow the pace and win the turnover battle against a Bulldog team that has coughed the ball up a decent amount in the tournament this far.
Why Gonzaga Could Cover The Spread
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are just two wins away from a perfect season. A perfect season this far will not be perfect if they don’t reach their ultimate goal, though. Gonzaga has such high expectations and has absolutely dominated the field. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents by 96 points through four tournament games with an average margin of victory of 24 points. They have scored at least 83 points in every tournament game as well.
Of this teams 30 wins in 2021, 29 of them have come by double digits. Gonzaga had a very tough non-conference schedule this year and pulled this off against some of the nation’s best teams. Forwards Corey Kispert and Drew Timme have been showing the world why they are two of the best players in college basketball. They’ve both averaged over 18 points per game this season. Drew Timme has been especially good in March, averaging 25 points on 64.4% shooting over his team’s last three wins. Two players also average more than four assists in Jalen Suggs and Andrew Nembhard. The Zags will look to push the pace and get UCLA way out of their comfort zone.
Final UCLA-Gonzaga Prediction & Pick
We have to give major props to the UCLA Bruins. They have knocked off two top seeds and now have a chance to reach the National Championship. Let’s take a look at the recent win against Michigan, though. UCLA only managed to score 51 points with more than half coming from one player. If you don’t think Gonzaga will have an answer for Johnny Juzang, you’re crazy. Gonzaga has scored over 80 points in every tournament game this far and have shown no signs of slowing down. 29 of this team’s 30 wins have come by double digits. That’s all that needs to be said.
FINAL PICK: Gonzaga Bulldogs -14 (-115)