- #6 Houston is a 10-point home favorite over SMU on Sunday (Jan. 31st, 1 pm EST)
- The Cougars have won seven straight and beat the Mustangs by 14 in their first meeting
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
This Sunday will be the first since Labour Day weekend without NFL games to sweat. But never fear, college hoops has you covered with an AAC matchup between SMU and #6 Houston starting at 1 pm EST. The Cougars (14-1, 9-1 AAC) have won seven straight, while the Mustangs (9-3, 5-3 AAC) salvaged a split in their home and home series with Memphis last time out.
SMU vs #6 Houston Odds
|SMU Mustangs||+10 (-110)||OFF||Over 139 (-110)|
|Houston Cougars||-10 (-110)||OFF||Under 139 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 30th.
Houston opened up as a 10-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 139. The Cougars are fresh off a 23-point win over Tulane in their last contest, dominating the Green Wave despite missing leading scorer Quentin Grimes due to a sprained ankle.
Cougars on the Prowl
Seldom used Cameron Tyson led the way versus Tulane, pouring in a career-high 31, including nine 3-balls. Tramon Mark chipped in 16 points, while Justin Gorham grabbed 15 boards. Houston dominated from start to finish, and had already built a 20-point lead before the game was even 10 minutes old.
HIGHLIGHTS – Big night in New Orleans
— Houston Men's Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@UHCougarMBK) January 30, 2021
According to head coach Kelvin Sampson, Grimes will “for sure” be back for the matchup against SMU, as the Cougars chase their eighth straight victory. The Junior guard averages 17.6 points per game and is one of only two Houston players who averages double digit points per outing.
Offense certainly isn’t the Cougars calling card, but they still manage a respectable 74.4 points per game and a 49.1% effective shooting percentage.
CBS' Seth Davis on @UHCougarMBK: "Kelvin Sampson on short list for national coach of the year … they could run the table, maybe make a play to get a No. 1 seed. If they go into Selection Show with one loss they have a chance at a 1-seed."
— Joseph Duarte (@Joseph_Duarte) January 23, 2021
Defense and rebounding is the key to their game, as they’re holding opponents to just 56.5 points per game, the lowest mark in all of college basketball. Only two programs yield a lower field goal percentage to enemy shooters, and Houston ranks sixth in the country in total rebounding.
Mustangs Sneak Past Memphis
SMU meanwhile, picked up a two-point win in their last game against Memphis, despite getting just 6 points from leading scorer Kendric Davis. The 5-foot-11 Junior was 2-of-13 from the floor, but teammates Feron Hunt (17 points) and Emmanuel Bandoumel (15 points) picked up the slack.
Mustangs got the win over Memphis on Thursday 👀
— SMU Basketball (@SMUBasketball) January 29, 2021
The Mustangs rank first among AAC teams in points per game and field goal percentage, while only two conference foes average a higher percentage from beyond the arc and more assists per outing.
They’ve done a nice job defensively in conference play, holding enemy shooters to 41.5% from the field, but have struggled on the glass. They rank eighth out of 10 AAC teams in total rebounding, and were abused in that department in their lone meeting with Houston this season.
Houston Eyes an Encore Performance
The Cougars out rebounded SMU 45-32 earlier this month, and grabbed a whopping 18 offensive boards. That domination on the offensive glass led to 15 Houston points, which was the difference in a 74-60 victory.
The Cougars easily covered as a 2-point road favorite, and have gone on to beat the spread in all but one of their six games since. Houston is 11-5 ATS this season, and 8-2 ATS versus conference opponents. They’ve beaten the number in six of nine home games, and have held every opponent below 68 points and all but five under 60 points.
SMU on the other hand, is 5-6-1 ATS, and 2-5-1 ATS against AAC opposition. I like the Cougars chances to continue their impressive ATS run, especially since Grimes will be back on the floor.
Pick: Houston Cougars -10 (-110)