The Baylor Bears have punched their ticket to the Final Four for the first time since 1950 and will face the Midwest Regional Champions, the Houston Cougars, for a chance at the title match. The Bears rolled through their Elite Eight matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks, claiming an impressive nine-point victory and improving to 26-2 on the season.
The Houston Cougars took out the surging Oregon State Beavers in the Elite Eight, putting an end to the last remaining high seeds in March Madness. The battle between the top-seeded Bears and the 2nd-seeded Cougars will likely turn into an offensive shootout, giving the high-powered Baylor offense a slight edge.
Fixture: Houston Cougars vs. Baylor Bears - March Madness 2021: Final Four
Date & Time: Saturday, April 3rd, 2021, TBD
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
March Madness 2021 bets: Houston Cougars vs Baylor Bears betting odds, lines and over/under
The Houston Cougars have had a couple of close games, winning by three points in the second round and six in the Elite Eight. Nonetheless, they have done what good teams do: close out games.
With a talented backcourt and strong rebounders in the paint, the Cougars present a legitimate threat to the Baylor Bears on Saturday.
The key players for the Houston Cougars are DeJon Jarreau and Quentin Grimes.
Jarreau, a senior, is now in his third March Madness appearance and will be called upon for his experience and leadership. Junior guard Quentin Grimes is in a similar position, now in his second dance and representing the Cougars' leading scorer.
The backcourt duo average 29 points and 11 rebounds per game, giving a strong matchup for the Baylor Bears' star guards.
The Houston Cougars will need their best performance of the season, but their combination of size and speed could be enough to take out the mighty Bears.
The Baylor Bears' key players on Saturday will likely be Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell.
Butler has led the Bears in scoring all season, averaging 16.5 points per game on 46.7% shooting. However, the junior guard has been inconsistent recently and will need to find his rhythm in this prime-time matchup against the Houston Cougars.
Davion Mitchell has picked up the slack, tallying 42 points, 16 assists and five steals in his last three games.
The Baylor Bears are averaging 74.5 points per game during March Madness, well above Houston's tournament average of 69.4 points per game.
Houston Cougars: +5 (-110).
Baylor Bears: -5 (-110).
Houston Cougars: +175.
Baylor Bears: -210.
Over: 135 (-110).
Under: 135 (-110).
Houston vs Baylor Prediction
While the Houston Cougars have a solid group, the Baylor Bears are rightfully five-point favorites in this Final Four battle. The Bears have outperformed every competitor along the way, most recently taking down a very strong Arkansas team.
The Cougars are not to be underestimated, as their offense can erupt at any moment, but the Bears (-5) should cover their five-point odds. The over (O135) seems like the most intriguing bet, with both teams likely to score 70 or more points.