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NCAA March Madness betting: Gonzaga vs. UCLA has biggest Final Four point spread in at least 25 years

Sam Cooper
·3-min read

Gonzaga is attempting to make college basketball history by becoming the first team to go through the regular season and men’s tournament without a loss since Indiana in 1975-76.

Gonzaga is also making history from a betting perspective. The Bulldogs, the NCAA men's tournament’s top overall seed, are 14-point favorites at BetMGM in their Final Four matchup against No. 11 seed UCLA.

That’s the largest Final Four point spread in at least 25 years. Since 1996, it appears there are just two other Final Four matchups with a double-digit point spread.

The first came in 1999 when Duke was an 11-point favorite against Michigan State. Duke won the game 68-62. The next came in 2016 when North Carolina squared off against No. 10 seed Syracuse. UNC was favored by 10 points and won 83-66.

One other matchup came close to a double-digit spread. In 2013, Louisville was favored by 9.5 points against Wichita State, a No. 9 seed. Louisville won 72-68.

There hasn't been a national championship game with a double-digit point spread since 1996, when Kentucky was -14 against Syracuse. 

Gonzaga is 4-0 ATS during NCAA tournament

Gonzaga has covered the spread in all four of its NCAA men's tournament games.

Gonzaga was a 33-point favorite against Norfolk State in the first round, a 15.5-point favorite against Oklahoma in the second round, a 12.5-point favorite against Creighton in the Sweet 16 and an 8.5-point favorite against USC in the Elite Eight.

Gonzaga has been the largest favorite in each round and has still managed to cover the spread, winning its games by a total of 96 points. Gonzaga is accustomed to being such a large favorite, too. Tuesday night’s game against USC was the first time since a Dec. 26 game against Virginia that Gonzaga was not favored by double digits.

If Gonzaga continues on this pace, it could become the seventh team since 1997 to go 6-0 against the spread in the NCAA men's tournament en route to a national championship. Per Action Network, the previous undefeated ATS national champions were Florida in 2006, North Carolina in 2009, Connecticut in 2014, Duke in 2015 and Villanova in 2016 and 2018.

Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) celebrates with teammate Jalen Suggs (1) after an Elite 8 game against Southern California in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis. Gonzaga won 85-66. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Gonzaga forward Drew Timme (2) celebrates with teammate Jalen Suggs (1) after an Elite Eight game against Southern California on Tuesday. Gonzaga won 85-66. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gonzaga huge favorite to win it all

At BetMGM, Gonzaga currently has -225 odds to win the national championship. Before the tournament, the Bulldogs’ odds were +200. Back in the preseason, those odds were +800.

Behind Gonzaga is Baylor at +375, Houston at +600 and UCLA at +2500.

Of the futures bets placed on the four teams remaining at BetMGM, 16.2% came in on Gonzaga with 33.5% of the money also on Gonzaga.

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