This is the stage of the college basketball season where we really start to take a closer look at the teams that are likely to be heading to March Madness at the end of the regular season. We try to identify the teams that appear to have very few weaknesses, as well as keeping an eye out for teams that could emerge as a potential dark horse. Those that fall into the latter category very often get on a roll late in the season, building up a head of steam that very often carries them over into the postseason. There are a few teams that fit that bill right now, with the Houston Cougars very much in the conversation.
Sure, they are not getting a lot of the headlines, but they are on a roll that has seen them crack the top 10 in the national rankings. They are the ones to watch in the final few weeks of the season and you can start tonight by checking them out on ESPN. The Cougars will be on the road to face the Connecticut Huskies as a 9-point favorite. The point total for this one has been set at 137.
Houston at Connecticut NCAA Basketball Odds & Pick for Thursday Night
See where YOUR Coogs stand in latest national rankings…@UHouston faces UConn at 6 pm CST TONIGHT inside @XLCenter in Hartford… WATCH on @ESPN, LISTEN on @KPRCradio 950 AM#ForTheCity #GoCoogs pic.twitter.com/xI7hy48vru— Houston Men’s Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@UHCougarMBK) 14 de febrero de 2019
- When: Thursday, February 14 at 11 PM EST
- Where: XL Center, Hartford
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- NCAA Basketball Odds: Houston Cougars -9 (Total 137)
Why bet on the Houston Cougars?As we mentioned at the top of this piece, the Houston Cougars are on a hot streak right now, coming into this game on an 8-game winning streak that has propelled them all the way up to the #9 spot in the national rankings. This will be a chance for Houston to improve an already impressive record in conference play, where they are 10-1 in the American Conference, which has them up by a single game on Cincinnati.
The bad news for UConn is that Houston is 6-3 SU in their last 9 meetings with the Huskies. They have won in 4 of their last 5 visits to Connecticut, but they are just 2-4 ATS in their last 6 meetings overall. The Cougars are 6-1 ATS on the road this season and a perfect 3-0 ATS as a road favorite.
- Total Score: 75.17
- Field Goal Percentage: 44.01
- Three-Point Percentage: 33.98
- Free Throw Percentage: 72.52
- Total Rebounds: 41.79
- Total Score: 60.67
- Field Goal Percentage: 36.37
- Three-Point Percentage: 26.97
- Free Throw Percentage: 68.27
- Total Rebounds: 33.96
Why bet on the Connecticut Huskies?A season that was already not going well for the Huskies became even worse when they lost Jalen Adams, their top scorer, to injury in a recent loss to temple. The Huskies lost the game immediately following that one and are now likely to be in real trouble the rest of the way. UConn has struggled quite badly in the American Conference this season, going just 4-7, which takes their overall record to a disappointing 13-11.
The Huskies have had 2 prior games against ranked opponents this season, with their split in those games suggesting that they do have the ability to spring the upset. UConn has covered the spread in 7 of their last 10 games and is 10-4 ATS in home games, which includes being 4-1 ATS as a home dog.
- Total Score: 77.21
- Field Goal Percentage: 45.86
- Three-Point Percentage: 35.39
- Free Throw Percentage: 69.47
- Total Rebounds: 37.12
- Total Score: 71.29
- Field Goal Percentage: 43.84
- Three-Point Percentage: 31.40
- Free Throw Percentage: 71.79
- Total Rebounds: 33.46
Houston at Connecticut NCAA Basketball Betting Trends
- Houston is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
- Houston is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Houston’s last 9 games on the road
- Connecticut is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
- Connecticut is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Connecticut’s last 7 games at home
Expert Pick and Final Score PredictionI think that the Huskies are in real trouble without their top scorer in the line-up, but given how good they have been ATS at home this season, they might just be able to keep this one close enough to cover. I’m on Houston to win and the Huskies to cover.
Score: Houston Cougars 74 – Connecticut Huskies 66