BetsByBob Final Four March Madness College Basketball Picks: Expect plenty of points from Bulldogs and Bruins
We are down to four. There was almost an extremely chalky Final Four, but UCLA managed to upset Michigan to get here. We have one of the largest spreads in recent memory in a Final Four game, and another game that should be a defensive battle. Only two can move on for a chance to play in the finals, and it is bittersweet that the college basketball season in quickly coming to an end. Make sure you check out the Pickswise team’s thoughts on the side and total for both Final Four matchups.
Here is to hoping for a great last three games to close it out, and let’s get into how I am playing these matchups.
UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs over 145.5
The Zags sure do look like a team on a mission for the record books. They completely dismantled USC and their #1 ranked two-point defense in the country. While on the other side, UCLA beat Michigan in an ugly game that looked like the rims were smaller than regulation. I am going to be on the over here, as Gonzaga should be able to have their way against UCLA. They are long, talented, disciplined, and extremely well-coached. Mick Cronin is going to try and pack the lane and take away all the close proximity shots that the Bulldogs seem to always get. The Zags don’t lack any shooting ability from the outside either, with every single starter shooting the three-ball better than 30 percent on the year.
The Bruins like to play at one of the slowest paces in basketball, which would make most lean towards the under. However, in a win or go home Final Four game, if you get down, you’re going to have to up your pace to get back in it. Gonzaga will get their points, and it will force UCLA to push their pace to stay with them. I have this game in the low 150’s, so the over is the play here.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for UCLA Bruins vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Houston Cougars +5 to cover against Baylor Bears
Contrary to my play on the Gonzaga and UCLA game, this one is going to have a much different feel to it. Two of the best defensive teams in the country meet in this Final Four bout, and this should be a spectacular game. Baylor has regained their post-COVID break form, and seem to be firing on all cylinders. The Bears have won all their tournament games thus far rather comfortably. Baylor is going to be having a much tougher test here, however, with a Houston team that has the tools to slow them down.
The Cougars have the trio of guards in DeJon Jarreau, Marcus Sasser, and Quentin Grimes to be able to disrupt the lethal Bears combination of Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler, and MaCio Teague. Neither of these teams plays with pace, and I am expecting this one to be a close, heavyweight contest, which could very likely be decided in the last possessions of the game. I believe Houston is one of the few teams that could stop Baylor’s path to the finals, but regardless of the outright upset, it should be a very close game.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Houston Cougars vs. Baylor Bears.