The #11 Ohio St Buckeyes (18-13) meet the #3 Houston Cougars (29-2) at BOK Center on Sunday at 8:40 pm ET in a pivotal second-round NCAA Tournament game. The Cougars opened as 6-point favorites and the game total was originally set at 132.
The winner will take on the winner of #7 Wofford vs #2 Kentucky in the Sweet 16.
The Buckeyes enter the game of an impressive 62-59 win over #6 Iowa State. After the win, the team is still averaging just 69 PPG, which ranks 269th in the nation, but their stout defense is now 42nd in the country at 66 PPG.
Leading scorer Kaleb Wesson, who’s averaging a team-best 15 points per game, was phenomenal against the Cyclones, recording 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Wesson will have to be just as good if OSU is going to pull its second straight upset.
Collectively, the Buckeyes are run-of-the-mill on the boards, pulling down 32 rebounds a night, 198th overall. If they don’t limit second-chance points, they will be doomed against an efficient Houston team.
The Cougars are deft offensively, sitting 21st in offensive rating, and averaging 76 PPG (84th). But just like OSU, Houston’s calling card is its defense.
The Cougars pair their productive offense with a D that sits 7th in defensive rating and is surrendering just 62 points, on average, heading into today’s game.
Corey Davis Jr. leads the team offensively, averaging 17 PPG, while Armoni Brooks leads the Cougars in rebounding, pulling in 7 RPG.
Brooks’s work on the glass has helped Houston dominate that aspect of the game. As a team, they rank 15th on the boards, with 37 rebounds a night. They are likely to have an edge on the glass against the Buckeyes.
The Cougars are coming off a dominant win in their last game, beating Georgia St. 84-55 in the first round in a game that was never in doubt. Davis Jr. led the team in scoring, as usual, with 26 points in the win.
The win continued a hot streak for Houston, which is now 8-2 in the last ten games. Ohio St, on the other hand, is just 4-6 SU in its last ten.
The wagering trends favor Houston, as well. The Cougars boat a 22-12-1 ATS record this year, while Ohio St is just 15-19-0 ATS.
Get the latest odds, line movement, and over/under prediction for Ohio St vs Houston in the tables above. Best of luck out there.