Finally, we have made it to the championship game of the 2020-21 season. After last year’s tournament cancellation, it is so sweet to be back in this situation, and it holds all the ingredients for a spectacular outcome. The Baylor Bears got here after trouncing Houston in a game that was almost over before it started. And Gonzaga…well, I’m sure you know how Gonzaga got here, as a buzzer-beating shot from Jalen Suggs capped a historic Final Four game in an already historic season for the Bulldogs.
I’m here to identify prop bets for the final game of the season, providing you the best value out there. These are two fantastic teams who both hold legitimate aspirations to cut down the nets at the end of the night. Here are my favorite prop bets.
*Odds courtesy of BetRivers Sportsbook
Drew Timme OVER 21.5 points: -113
The Gonzaga big man has played on another level this tournament, tallying at least 22 points in each of the Bulldogs’ last four games. On a team full of talent, Timme is still arguably Mark Few’s best weapon, and he has been used as such. The handlebar-mustache-man sits with the highest usage rate on the team, and in the most important game of the season, they will depend on the Gonzaga big man to perform.
Not only is Gonzaga incredibly efficient near the rim where Timme will take almost all of his shots, but they consistently find open looks there too. Haslametrics projects 47% of Gonzaga’s shots to come from near the basket, a clip that is 13% higher than the DI average.
Baylor isn’t the best team to handle Timme either. A high percentage – over 53% – of opponents’ points come from inside-the-arc, and they don’t have much size. Timme should be guarded by a rotation of Mark Vital, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and Flo Thamba, but Timme outsizes the former two. If Gonzaga forces miss-matches in the paint, Baylor has no chance of stopping him. I really expect Timme to have a career game tonight.
Gonzaga ML and OVER 159.5: +185
I understand that 159.5 seems like a lot of points, and it is, but I still see value in the over. KenPom projects the total to be 166, and Haslametrics has it at 161.5. Don’t forget, these are the two best offenses in the nation going toe-to-toe in the biggest spotlight of their careers. There are bound to be fireworks.
This game should be a back-and-forth battle of future NBA talent showing off just why they should reach the next level. I expect Gonzaga to pull off the win, but it should be a close enough game where the over can reach if Baylor needs to foul late. There are a lot of players who can get hot for either team and score when needed. Both defenses are good, but both offenses are great. The Bulldogs should complete their undefeated season in an explosive matchup with a lot of points. At plus money, I’m all over that.
Davion Mitchell – OVER 6.5 assists: +125
Mitchell not only has the highest assist rate on the team, but it’s the highest of his career at 27.9. Mitchell has been an elite facilitator of late, dishing out 11 assists in their Final Four game vs. Houston. While I don’t expect him to reach 11 again, I can easily see eight or nine, especially with the pace of play uptick.
Gonzaga is the third-fastest team in the nation, with an average possession length of just 14.4 seconds. The speedy style of play means more possessions and, thus, more opportunities to rack up extra assists. I mentioned before that both of these teams boast outstanding offenses. Not only that, but Baylor takes care of the rock and ranks second in field goal attempt rate, meaning that nearly every possession ends in a shot attempt.
Every one of these Baylor players will have to step up if they want to compete with Gonzaga. Mitchell is a capable scorer, but he has shown how he can take a back seat and facilitate more in any given game. At +125, this is one of my more favorite bets of the tournament. With so many weapons, so many shot attempts, and opportunities, Mitchell will get plenty of chances to reach seven assists. Baylor has just got to knock down their open looks en route.
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Ryan Coleman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Ryan, check out his archive.