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Houston Cougars vs. Wichita State Shockers
NCAA: Saturday, January 18, Charles Koch Arena, Wichita, Kansas, 4:00 PM ET
The Houston Cougars were on a six-game winning run before losing a tight game to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, but the Cougars bounced back with a home win over the SMU Mustangs. The Cougars now improved to a 13-4 record (3-1 in conference play) and are in the 3rd place in the American with a couple of wins behind the Shockers.
The Wichita State Shockers failed to make it ten in a row as they suffered a road defeat to the Temple Owls after going on a nine-game winning streak. Following that loss, the Shockers dropped to a 15-2 record (3-1 in conference play) but remained at the top of the American with a win ahead of the Memphis Tigers.
These conference rivals met once last year, and the Cougars won that games. Houston was better in each of the previous three H2H encounters.
The Cougars didn’t have problems with SMU at homeHouston returned to the winning ways after a tight defat to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane with a 71-62 home victory over the SMU Mustangs. The Cougars kept the visitors to miserable 20 points in the first half, which was the Mustangs’ season-low in the opening 20 minutes. The hosts outjumped SMU by 11 rebounds (45-34) and secured a win without trouble. Junior forward Fabian White led Houston with a double-double of 17 points and game-high ten boards. Caleb Mills contributed with 15 points off the bench, while Nate Hinton posted 14 points, nine rebounds, and a pair of thefts. Forward J’Wan Roberts (hand) is out for the season, while DeJon Jarreau (ankle) and Justin Gorham (ankle) are listed as probable to face the Shockers on Saturday.
The Cougars have the 81st offense in the NCAA that averages 75.9 points per game, and they are facing the Shockers’ 64th defense that allows 63.9 points per contest. The Cougars are 3rd in rebounds with 43.1 and 151st in assists with 13.6 per game.
The Shockers scored season-low 53 points in a loss to the OwlsWichita State was on a nine-game winning streak and had a 6-point lead at halftime against the Temple Owls on the road, but displayed a woeful offensive performance in the second 20 minutes to lose the game, 65-53. The Shockers scored only 21 points in the second half and shot just 30.2% from the floor while they were even worse from downtown (14.3%). Senior center Jaime Echenique led Wichita State with a double-double of 20 points and game-high 13 rebounds, along with a couple of blocks. Jamarius Burton had 16 points, five boards, and two steals. The rest of the players ended the game in single figures.
Final from Philly. pic.twitter.com/87LfnLThee— Wichita State Men's Basketball (@GoShockersMBB) January 16, 2020
“They turned it up in the second half, and we remained in our slumber,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said.
The Shockers have the 76th offense in the NCAA that averages 76.1 points per game, and they are facing the Cougars’ 86th defense that allows 65.5 points per contest. The Shockers are 31st in rebounds with 40.2 and 84th in assists with 14.6 per game.
The top supporting trends for this game are found on Covers.com Houston: N/A
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss
- 4-1 ATS in their last five Saturday games
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Houston had more success when it comes to H2H duels in recent years, but Wichita State is on a 16-game winning run at Charles Koch Arena, and I am backing the Shockers to get a win here. A win over the rivals who are also in the chase for the top spot in the conference is an excellent way to put a poor performance against Temple behind. Houston did win five of the last six road games and the latest H2H encounter at this arena, but I am giving the advantage to Wichita State. I am backing Jaime Echenique to post another strong display on Saturday and record a double-double in a win.
Prediction: Wichita State Shockers -3 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Wichita State scored season-low 53 points in a loss to Temple, but I am backing them to return to usual and score 70+ points here. The Shockers managed to do so in each of the last seven home games, while they kept the opponents to under 70 points in 15 of the previous 16 home games. The Shockers’ home D is the biggest reason I am going with Under. Houston is not allowing a bunch of baskets on the road lately, only in two of the last six, the Cougars let the rivals score 70+. I am backing a low-scoring affair in this conference battle.
Prediction: Under 138 (-110)