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Can No. 9 Houston Extend its Eight-Game Winning Streak vs UConn?

Houston vs UConn Betting Odds

The No. 9 Houston Cougars hit the road for a two-game swing with the first coming at the XL Center as they tip off against the UConn Huskies. This game features two teams headed in opposite directions as UConn has dropped eight of its last 12 contests while Houston is riding an eight-game winning streak. The Cougars have won four of the last five meetings with the Huskies and are an 8.5-point favorite in tonight’s game with the total opening at 140 points.

Shark Bites
  • Houston is 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last eight games.
  • UConn is 4-8 SU but 7-5 ATS in its last 12 games.
  • Houston surrenders the fifth-fewest points per game in the nation this season (60.7).

Houston vs UConn Game Center

Cougars Continue their Tear through the AAC

Houston is coming off its best win in AAC play, securing a 65-58 victory over then-No. 25 Cincinnati on Sunday for its eighth triumph in a row. The Cougars have just one loss on the season, falling 73-69 at Temple on January 9, which ended a 15-game winning streak through non-conference play and the first two AAC contests.

The offense has been decent for Houston this year, ranking 99th with 75.2 points per game, falling to 71.4 in road games. The team gets a good portion of its scoring from beyond the arc and averages 25.9 triple attempts per game, the 46th-most in college basketball, but only hits 34 percent of those shots (186th). The Cougars also shoot just 51.8 percent from inside the arc to rank 124th but over their last three that has climbed to 57.7 percent, which was rated at 34th.

Meanwhile, points have come at a premium against Houston as it gives up just 60.7 points per game for the No. 5 mark in the nation, and surrenders only slightly more (62.7 ppg) on the road. It ranks second in the NCAA by holding opponents to a measly 36.4 shooting percentage and limits them to the 41st-fewest triples made per game at 6.4. Lastly, the Cougars do a terrific job cleaning the glass, grabbing 41.8 rebounds per game to rank fourth and hauling down 10.8 offensive boards per outing (28th).

Huskies’ Defense has been much better at home 

UConn opened the season on a nice run, claiming victory in nine of its first 12 games, but it has been in a bit of a tailspin since late December, dropping eight of its last 12, including an ongoing two-game slide. The Huskies have been good at home this season with a 9-0 record at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, but are just 3-2 at the bigger XL Center.

There hasn’t been much of an issue in the scoring department for the Huskies as they have the No. 61 offense at 77.2 points per game, with that average dipping slightly to 76.6 ppg at the XL Center. Most of their offense comes from two-point range as they rank 34th with 40.5 points per game coming from that area of the court, including 44 ppg from two-pointers at the XL Center. Additionally, they only take 22.2 three-point attempts per game but they hit 35.4 percent of those shots, ranking 118th.

On the defensive side of the ball, it has been a tale of two tapes for UConn. Overall, it gives up 71.3 points per game to rank 157th, with that number jumping to 79.8 ppg on the road but dropping to 66.6 ppg at the XL Center. It has done a good job protecting the three-point line, limiting foes to 31.4 percent shooting overall from beyond the arc to rank 50th and ramping it up even more at home, holding opponents to 27.4 percent for the 19th-lowest rate in the NCAA. However, teams are able to take advantage inside the arc and they rank only 174th by allowing 50.2 percent shooting in that area.

Which side of the total should you be on?

We have two good defenses tipping off tonight and Bovada has the total opening at 140 points. Houston has gone UNDER in four of its last seven games, with three games going OVER 140 points and an average combined score of 135.71.

Meanwhile, UConn has gone UNDER in four of its last five contests, with two games going OVER 140 points and an average combined score of 140.2. The Huskies do a much better job on both sides of the ball at home, but shutting down the Cougars is a tough task. I like the OVER 140 points.

My take on Houston vs UConn

I like UConn +8.5 in tonight’s game. The Huskies have just two losses at home this season – both came at the XL Center rather than at their other home court, the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion, but only one of those losses came by more than nine points. The Huskies are just a completely different team when they play at home, allowing five fewer points per game while scoring one fewer ppg.

Meanwhile, Houston scores four fewer points per game on the road and allows two more ppg and its only loss this season came away from home. The Cougars get 35.1 percent of their points from beyond the arc, which climbs to 37.8 on the road, and the Huskies restrict visiting opponents to a shooting percentage of 27.4 from downtown.

Additionally, the Cougars grab the fourth-most rebounds per game and the Huskies limit their foes to the 79th-fewest rebounds per game. Not saying UConn wins this game, but I think they can keep it close.

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