We have reached the endgame of the tournament: The 2021 March Madness Final Four. Saturday evening, two games will determine who has a chance to cut down the nets as champions.
It has been a good run to this stage, with some bumps in the road. We expected Cinderella runs this year. However, we did not anticipate it would be from the squad with the most championships of all-time. Meanwhile, since early in the season, everyone pegged Gonzaga and Baylor as the two best teams.
As for the wagering, we are riding early success to stay in the black. After the Elite Eight, our best bets results look like this:
- Spread Bets: 7-3, Up ~4.5 Units.
- Upset Specials: 1-2, Ohio +280 won, Villanova +265 and USC +315 (0.25units) lost.
- Futures: 0-3 with Iowa, Loyola, and Arkansas out of the tournament.
- Props: 1-2, with OVER 10.5 Total Final Four Seeds pulling through.
On this holiday weekend (Happy Passover and Easter, everyone!), we are trying to dish up a couple winners for your bankrolls.
March Madness Final Four Game Bets
There are only three games remaining in the season, all broadcast on CBS. Both March Madness Final Four games are on Saturday, April 3, 2021. Here’s our picks:
HOUSTON v. Baylor (-5.5)*, Saturday, 5:14p.m. EDT, CBS
After their runs to the Final Four, these are the second and third best squads in the KenPom rankings. Baylor has the higher Adjusted Efficiency Margin (AdjEM), but only by tenths of a point. For reference, Gonzaga is a full eight points ahead of both these programs, with UCLA eight behind.
So, these teams are close. Baylor’s defensive metrics still lag, with fivethirtyeight calling out their lackluster defense pre-tournament. Even after showing great progress throughout March Madness, the Bears’ D is still ranked 28th in KenPom. That can be an Achilles Heel for a championship contender.
Neither team plays particularly fast, but Houston is especially deliberate. The Cougars are ranked 328th out of 357 teams in Adjusted Tempo (AdjT). Successful possessions will be at a premium in this game.
Look for Houston to try and create turnovers and sloppy play from Baylor, while constricting them slowly. Baylor has the players to win, but Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars are the team to stop them. Take the points.
Put one unit on HOUSTON +5.5 (-115). For a quasi-upset special, toss 0.50 units on the Cougars moneyline as well (+185).
UCLA vs. GONZAGA (-14.5), Saturday, 8:30p.m., CBS
If you have watched them, you should be in awe of Gonzaga at this point. Their road to the March Madness Final Four is littered with dominating wins. Last matchup, USC presented an imposing obstacle and got dropped like Nate Robinson in a boxing ring.
The Zags are undefeated and some would say untested. No matter. UCLA is not the team to give them their first examination.
First off, UCLA busted your bracket. If you rode the Bruins, hats off to you. But UCLA has already lost twice to USC this year. Yes, the same Trojans still pulling themselves off the Indianapolis pavement after the ZagaBus ran them over. Of course, that was before this UCLA run for the ages.
The Bruins will desperately try to slow the game down and limit Gonzaga’s multi-faceted offense. But once the Timme Train gathers momentum, look out.
This is an absurd amount of points for a Final Four matchup. And still, go with the Zags.
Another unit goes on Gonzaga -14.5 (-105).
A Prop Bet To Keep Things Interesting
Even with your eye on the spread of the Gonzaga – UCLA matchup, the Saturday night game may be a snoozer. Let’s spice it up.
Jalen Suggs AT LEAST 2 3pt Field Goals Made (+138)
The freshman Gonzaga point guard is more of a facilitator than a scorer for the Bulldogs. Because the team does not need his points, his scoring ability has been overshadowed.
He remains a double-digit scorer and effective shooter with a hot-streak stroke. Early in the year, Gonzaga does not beat Iowa without his 7 for 10 performance from deep. In both the conference tournament and March Madness, he has attempted at least two from deep every game. In big games, he is taking big shots.
You may even want to consider a smaller bet on him nailing at least 3 from downtown against UCLA, at +334 odds.
Been searching for the best online sportsbook to win your real money bets? Before tip of this March Madness Final Four, check out our reviews of the top sites.
*All bets per Bovada at 2:30p.m. EDT on 04/02/2021.