The Final Four is officially set, and West Virginia sportsbooks are already offering odds for next weekend’s games.
March Madness betting in WV will conclude with three more great contests before a 2021 champion is crowned.
The matchups are set following Tuesday night’s last two games in the Elite Eight. Gonzaga and UCLA advanced, joining Baylor and Houston from Monday night.
The Final Four gets underway on Saturday, with No. 1 Baylor and No. 2 Houston starting at 5:14 p.m. on CBS. Then, No. 1 Gonzaga will look to continue its perfect season against No. 11 UCLA.
Teams will have Sunday off prior to the title game Monday evening. It’s scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m. and also airs on CBS.
Let’s break down what the odds look like at WV online sports betting apps and preview the upcoming games.
Final Four odds at WV sportsbooks
Gonzaga vs. UCLA
The top-seeded team in the Big Dance is playing like it. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are now 30-0 on the season and are just two victories away from making history.
Gonzaga would join a very short list of men’s college basketball programs to finish the year as undefeated champs. Indiana was the last team to accomplish this amazing achievement in 1976.
While the Bulldogs were impressive during the regular season, they seemed to have upped their game a notch in the tournament.
They are coasting so far, scoring at least 83 points in each game. Their tightest game was in the second round, when the Bulldogs beat Oklahoma by 16.
Although UCLA is a worthy opponent, it seems Gonzaga has gotten a favorable path to the final. The highest seed it’s played is No. 5 Creighton in the Sweet 16.
The difference in seeding is evident when seeing the odds for this one. WV sportsbooks show the Zags laying -14 in the point spread.
Bettors in the Mountain State can put action down on the moneyline as well. Gonzaga is listed at -1150 at FanDuel WV, while UCLA has odds of +730.
It’s difficult to see Gonzaga struggling, because it features so many ways to beat you. On any given night, Drew Timme, Corey Kispert or Jalen Suggs can take over the game.
The trio combined for 59 points in the win against USC.
Of course, UCLA is still in the tournament field for a reason. The Bruins are displaying lots of offense this March, led by guard Johnny Juzang.
The sophomore is on fire at the moment and truly carried his side in their Elite Eight win. Juzang scored 28 points against Michigan, shooting nearly 58% from the field.
For UCLA to have a chance of another upset, it will need its star to have a repeat performance. For the sake of a competitive game, hopefully the underdog can keep it close for the majority of the contest.
Baylor vs. Houston
The other National Semifinal is a much better matchup on paper. Another No. 1 in the Baylor Bears will take on second-seeded Houston.
Many critics gave up on Baylor being an elite team after its time off due to COVID-19 postponements. It lost several times down the stretch, including in the Big 12 tournament to Oklahoma State.
Since then, the Bears are back to playing great basketball. Similar to Gonzaga, Baylor isn’t having many issues in the Big Dance.
The Bears’ closest victory was in their latest game, when they took down No. 3 Arkansas by nine points.
A slight difference with their path to the Final Four is that they’ve beaten some highly regarded teams. Arkansas had a great year, while No. 5 Villanova and No. 9 Wisconsin were more than formidable.
Part of what sets Baylor apart from most is its ability to get scoring from anyone. Guards Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell each averaged more than 14 points per game during the regular season.
It seems to always get quality output from someone else, too. Junior Matthew Mayer scored 17 in the Sweet 16, and Adam Flagler added 26 points combined in the last two games.
Houston’s main goal will be to slow the Bears down. Fortunately, it’s done a great job of doing that against most of its opponents.
In the Cougars’ four tournament wins, they’ve only allowed one team to score over 60 points.
While their defense is playing efficiently, they might need a boost in the scoring department. Houston’s highest-scoring output was 87 in the opening round; however, it hasn’t exceeded 67 points since then.
Even if its defense plays well against Baylor, it may need to score more than that to move on.
Part of the problem of late is Houston’s shooting from deep. In its last two meetings, it’s only shot 31% from beyond the arc on 58 attempts.
There’s no question that the Cougars defense should pose issues for Baylor, but they will also need a better night offensively to advance again.