2017 National Championship: North Carolina opens as 2-point favorite over Gonzaga

The North Carolina Tar Heels are the betting favorite to win the national championship on Monday.

According to SportsLine, the Westgate LV SuperBook, BookMaker.eu and BetOnline.ag all opened with the Tar Heels as 2-point favorites over No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the season finale.

In the Final Four on Saturday night, both team’s struggled to put away their opponents. After Gonzaga’s lead ballooned to 14 points in the second half, South Carolina charged back to take a lead -- one it quickly handed back to the Bulldogs, who would not surrender it for the remainder of the evening.

The same could be said for North Carolina, however, its contest against the Oregon Ducks was much tighter throughout. When the Tar Heels had a chance to seal it late and put the game entirely out of reach, they instead missed four consecutive free throws, relying on offensive rebounds to pull out a 77-76 win in the final seconds. 

Despite winning five straight games, Gonzaga is 1-3-1 against the spread in the NCAA Tournament, compared to UNC’s 2-2-1 record against the spread. Both teams failed to cover the spread on Saturday in the Final Four. Against Kentucky in the Elite Eight, North Carolina was a 2-point favorite as well -- a game that ended in a push.

“Gonzaga defined the ‘Cinderella’ mantra of college basketball, and it will always be the first to wear the glass slipper, but that doesn’t change the fact that to the public the Zags appear overmatched against the greatest program of all time,” said Scott Cooley, BookMaker’s odds consultant. “We anticipate action on the over, but hopefully the public action will be split on the spread.”

Gonzaga and North Carolina will play on Monday night in Glendale at 9:20 p.m. ET on CBS.

Our Latest Stories