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UConn Huskies vs. Houston Cougars
NCAAB: Friday, March 15, 2019, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, 12:00 PM ET
The UConn Huskies and the Houston Cougars will lock horns in the 2019 American Athletic Conference championship tournament quarterfinals at FedExForum in Memphis. Tennessee. The Cougars have beaten the Huskies 71-63 as 9-point road favorites in their only head-to-head duel this season and are listed as strong favorites to defeat UConn one more time in Memphis.
The Huskies’ offense seems ready for the challenge
The UConn Huskies (15-16; 6-12 Conf.) defeated the South Florida Bulls 80-73 in yesterday’s first-round matchup of the AAC championship tournament. The Huskies put on a strong performance in the first half, grabbing a 13-point lead and allowing the Bulls just 26 first-half points. The Huskies shot 54.3% from the field while nailing 13 triples out of 24 attempts from deep which were just too much for their rivals. Christian Vital accounted for 25 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the 3-point line to go with five rebounds and three assists, while Jalen Adams added 19 points, six rebounds, and five dimes. It was UConn’s third win over the last four outings.
2nd | 14:57 | #UConn 52, USF 36
First Three 🚫
Second Three ✅
Tyler Polley pushes our lead back to 16! #DoMore
— UConn Men's Basketball (@UConnMBB) March 14, 2019
UConn enters the matchup with the Cougars as a No. 94 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 102 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Huskies are scoring 108.3 points per 100 possessions (99th in the country), allowing 101.6 in a return (124th in the country). The senior guard Jalen Adams is leading the way for the Huskies this season, averaging 16.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game while hitting 49.2% of his field goals. The junior guard Christian Vital is averaging 14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per contest, while the sophomore PF Josh Carlton is adding 9.1 points and 6.0 boards per game.
The Cougars are looking for a double victory
The Houston Cougars (29-2; 16-2 Conf.) have won the AAC regular-season title thanks to a convincing 85-69 victory at the Cincinnati Bearcats who finished at the 2nd spot. It’s been a perfect end of the perfect season for the Cougars who have dropped only two games along the way, losing to the UCF Knights 69-64 and at the Temple Owls 73-69, while they’ve won all their non-conference matchups. The Cougars are 9-1 straight up and 6-4 ATS in their last ten games overall, while they are 9-1 straight up and 8-2 ATS in the previous ten outings away from home.
Houston enters the matchup with the Huskies as a No. 4 at the NCAA NET Rankings and a No. 13 at the latest KenPom rankings. The Cougars are scoring 115.1 points per 100 possessions (19th in the country) on 45.1% shooting from the field, allowing 92.7 points in a return (17th in the country). The senior guard Corey Davis Jr. is leading the Cougars, averaging 16.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game while making 43.1% of his field goals. The junior guard Armoni Brooks is tallying 13.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest, while the senior PG Galen Robinson Jr. is posting 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per outing.
- 18-2 SU and 13-7 ATS in the last 20 games overall
- 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in the last ten games away from home
- Under is 5-2 in the last seven games as favorites
- 0-12 SU in the last 12 games as underdogs
- Under is 9-4 in the last 13 games overall
- Under is 6-0 in the last six games as underdogs
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cougars are playing some great basketball all season long, doing an excellent job on both sides of the floor. They’ve easily outplayed the Huskies on the road during the regular season, and I think they will beat them again on this one. Also, the Cougars have been covering the spread away from home at a steady pace, so I’m backing them to cover today. The Huskies’ offense looked very well against the Bulls, but they will have a much taller task against the Cougars.
Prediction: Houston Cougars -10.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
While the Huskies are recording 68.7 possessions per 40 minutes (117th in the country), the Cougars are averaging 66.6 possessions per 40 minutes (233rd in the country). Hereof, I expect to see some down-tempo basketball. Also, both teams can play tough defense, especially the Cougars, so I’m backing the under.
Prediction: Under 138.5 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The last four H2H duels between UConn and Houston were decided by ten or fewer points, but I expect the Cougars to cover a 10-point spread today. Still, it shouldn’t be a blowout, and the Huskies possess abilities to keep it close for most of the game. Five of UConn’s last six losses came by a single-digit margin, so I’m backing the Cougars to beat the Huskies by 11 to 15 points.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Houston Cougars by 11-15 points (+400)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Cougars were leading at halftime in all their last five outings, while they had a 3-point lead at UConn in their only H2H duel of the season. They were a dominant force in the AAC this season, so I expect the Cougars to get off to a good start in their first game at the championship tournament and take a solid lead.
Prediction: Houston Cougars -5.5 (-110)