SMU at Houston Betting Odds, Pick & TV Info

Posted by Peter Boysen on February 16, 2017 in

On Saturday evening, the Houston Cougars (18-7, 9-4 AAC) host the #19 SMU Mustangs (23-4, 13-1 AAC). Houston has won five straight in conference play — in fact, their last loss came at the hands of the Mustangs up in Dallas, where Houston fell by an 85-64 margin. The Mustangs have won nine in a row since losing, 66-64, at then-#22 Cincinnati. They avenged that loss on Sunday but then had to come back from a 15-point halftime deficit to take down four-win Tulane at home on Wednesday night. After reading this preview, be sure to review our NCAAB odds for this week’s games.

SMU at Houston Betting Odds, Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017, 6:00pm ET
Where: Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston
Radio: SMU / Houston
Live Stream: WatchESPN

Why should you bet on the Mustangs?

The national basketball establishment has been slow to pay attention to SMU this year, even though they have won 19 of 20, losing just once since November. There were some ugly losses early (Michigan, Boise State, USC), but since then they have only lost at Cincinnati. SMU has a seven-man rotation that makes them one injury away from disaster, but their win over Tulane was actually a departure for a team that has avoided highs and lows. They came out slow on defense against the Green Wave, and Cameron Reynolds made them pay with 18 points in the first half, staking Tulane to a 42-27 lead. However, the Mustangs came out after halftime ready to play inspired defense, and their shooting improved as well. Semi Ojeleye had 16 of his 18 points after the intermission, and he knocked down a pair of threes in a run that put SMU back up just after the 10-minute mark of the second half. Ben Moore had 15 points and 13 rebounds against a Tulane team that has been soft in the middle all year long. I expect them to learn from their complacent start against Tulane and start the game down in Houston with more energy on both ends of the floor.

Why should you put your money on the Cougars?

Houston is an outstanding team from behind the arc — an area of defense where SMU has struggled a bit this year. Their tendency to pack the middle with physical defense leaves them vulnerable against teams that swing the ball around to an open man behind the arc. Against Tulsa on Saturday, Houston hit a dozen threes — six from Rob Gray Jr., who led the team with 28 points. Damyean Dotson hit three from downtown and totaled 24 points. Wes VanBeck hit the other three shots from downtown, giving the Cougars 12 for 27 from downtown. Houston’s defense harassed Tulsa into 15 turnovers for the night. If you like Houston, you like them to be able to impose that same offensive show on the Mustangs.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

SMU has found a way to come through adversity all season long, and while Houston looks better now than they did when the teams met in Dallas, SMU just looks too focused right now — and can lock down on defense, like they did when they kept Cincinnati from making any field goals in the last 4+ minutes of their game on Sunday. I predict a final score of SMU 74, Houston 67.