2017 NCAA Championship: North Carolina Tar Heels-Gonzaga Bulldogs Picks Against The Spread

Senior analyst Larry Hartstein breaks down UNC-Gonzaga from a betting perspective to get you set for Monday night's NCAA Championship Game.

 

NO. 1 GONZAGA BULLDOGS VS. NO. 1 NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (-1.5, O/U 153.5), Mon., 9:20 p.m. ET, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

No. 1 seeds North Carolina and Gonzaga clash Monday night in a titanic matchup for the national championship, with the Tar Heels seeking their sixth ring and the Bulldogs eyeing their first.

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Mon 04/03 9:20 PM EDT
Gonzaga -105 O/U 154.5
vs. N. Carolina -118 -1
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VIEW FULL GAME ANALYSIS

Will Gonzaga's size negate UNC's biggest advantage? The Tar Heels lead the nation with 15.8 offensive boards per game and that strength showed up in dramatic fashion at the end of Saturday's 77-76 win over Oregon.

Will the Tar Heels' litany of scorers find their rhythm against the nation's most efficient defense?

PRO BETTORS RIDING ONE TEAM HARD IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

The game could come down to Gonzaga's perimeter shooting.

The Zags are 21 of 43 on 3-pointers in their last two games, with Nigel Williams-Goss going 6 of 12 and scoring 23 points in each victory.

UNC senior forward Kennedy Meeks similarly looks like a man on a mission. He poured in 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds against Oregon.

There is no doubt this will be a close game, so make sure you shop around to get the best line on the team you're backing.

LINE MOVEMENT

UNC opened as a consensus 2-point favorite, but early action on Gonzaga dropped the line to Tar Heels -1.5 at most books, with some even dealing Tar Heels -1. According to SportsInsights, 57 percent of the bets were on the Zags as of late Sunday.

The total is sitting at 153.5 or 154 depending on the book. Some books opened as low as 153, while others opened as high as 154.5.

TRENDS

Gonzaga is 16-5-2 ATS in its last 23 games against teams with .600-plus winning percentages.

UNC is 14-6-2 ATS in its last 22 neutral-site games.

The Under is 6-0 in Gonzaga's last six games against ACC teams. The Over is 38-18 in North Carolina's last 56 neutral-site games, and 7-2 in UNC's last nine NCAA Tournament games.

SELECTION

Data scientist Stephen Oh (plus $2,895) has a strong play on UNC-Gonzaga. See all SportsLine expert picks here.