Update: This game has been called off due to COVID-19 concerns. See more here.
In what is arguably the biggest non-conference college basketball matchup of the season, the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs take on the No. 2 Baylor Bears on Saturday afternoon. The game will take place at a neutral site in Indianapolis, with both teams arriving after quality wins. Gonzaga is 3-0 on the season, with victories over Auburn, West Virginia and Kansas already in 2020-21. Baylor is also unbeaten, and the Bears toppled an elite opponent in Illinois in their last contest.
Tip-off is at 1 p.m. ET on CBS. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bulldogs as 2.5-point favorites, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 159.5 in the latest Gonzaga vs. Baylor odds. Before making any Baylor vs. Gonzaga picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It's also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Gonzaga vs. Baylor spread: Gonzaga -2.5
- Gonzaga vs. Baylor over-under: 159.5 points
- Gonzaga vs. Baylor money line: Gonzaga -140, Baylor +120
- GONZ: The Bulldogs are 10-8 against the spread in the last 18 non-conference games
- BAY: The Bears are 7-1 against the spread in the last eight games at a neutral site
Why Gonzaga can cover
Gonzaga's profile is already impressive with three wins over high-major opponents in dominant fashion. Power by high-scoring forwards Drew Timme (23.3 ppg) and Corey Kispert (22.3 ppg) and a possible lottery pick at point guard in Jalen Suggs (13.3 ppg, 6.3 apg), the Bulldogs have an uber-elite offense, averaging 93 points per game and scoring more than 1.15 points per possessions this season. After leading the country in adjusted offensive efficiency in 2019-20, Mark Few's team is on track to potentially repeat as the nation's best offense. The Bulldogs are shooting 65.4 percent on 2-point attempts and, with great free-throw shooting (74.1 percent) and above-average ball security (16.7 percent turnover rate), the formula is strong.
On the defensive end, Gonzaga has great size and acumen, with a 75 percent defensive rebound rate and enough athleticism to match up with any opponent. Baylor is also a potent offense, but the Bears have struggled at the free-throw line this season (56.2 percent) and that could be an X-factor in this matchup.
Why Baylor can cover
Baylor is a tremendous team, and the Bears are led by elite-level guard play. Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Jared Butler spurned the NBA to return for another season, and the veteran guard is averaging 16.3 points, 4.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game. In support, MaCio Teague and Adam Flagler are both averaging 15.7 points per game, and Baylor can attack any opponent from the perimeter. Closer to the rim, the Bears are a top-five team nationally in offensive rebounding, grabbing 46 percent of their own misses so far in 2020-21.
When combined with elite 3-point shooting (47.3 percent this season) and above-average 2-point shooting (53.2 percent), Baylor is virtually impossible to stop. Defensively, Baylor is above-average on the glass and with keeping opposing teams off the free-throw line. The Bears also have a 9.9 percent block rate and a 10.2 percent steal rate, both of which rank in the top quadrant of the sport this season.
How to make Gonzaga vs. Baylor picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with eight total players projected to score in double figures. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Baylor vs. Gonzaga And which side of the spread cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Gonzaga vs. Baylor spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up almost $2,600 on its top-rated college basketball spread picks over the past four-plus years, and find out.