Upcoming Match-ups

UAB vs Houston Picks and Odds

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in College Basketball

Updated Dec 19, 2022 · 3:27 PM PST

Jordan Walker pumped reaction
UAB guard Jordan Walker (10) reacts to hitting a basket late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Middle Tennessee in the semifinal round of the Conference USA tournament in Frisco, Texas, Friday, March 11, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
  • The Houston Cougars battle the UAB Blazers in the NCAA Tournament South Region
  • UAB returns to the tournament for the first time since 2015; Houston made the Final Four a year ago
  • Read below for the UAB vs Houston odds, analysis, and betting prediction

Surprise, surprise. Another mid-major looking to make noise in the NCAA Tournament in the 12 spot.

However, the UAB Blazers will be in tough against a true buzz saw in the field, a fifth-seeded Houston Cougars team looking for a return trip the Final Four, which would mark their first back-to-back appearances since 1984.

This battle in the South Region tips off Friday at around 9:20pm ET, from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The game can be seen live on TNT.

UAB vs Houston Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
UAB Blazers +310 +8.5 (-110) O 136 (-110)
Houston Cougars -400 -8.5 (-110) U 136 (-110)

Odds as of March 17th at Caesars Sportsbook.

Currently, Houston holds the 14th-best NCAA Tournament champion odds, and are an 8.5-point favorite in a game that features a 136 total.

This is a great time to take advantage of the many March Madness betting bonuses, with unbelievably easy money available, simply for signing up. If you’re just getting started and want a little more help when laying down a wager, be sure to see our strategies for betting on March Madness.

UAB Blazers Betting Analysis

The Blazers return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015, and they enter on a hot streak. UAB reeled off seven straight wins to close out the year, including dispatching the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the Conference USA Tournament final.

They bring a potent offense to the table, one that averaged 80.7 points per game on the year, which ranked sixth-best in the nation, and they were one of only nine schools to average better than 80 points per game this season.

The Blazers led Conference USA in scoring and three-point shooting, drilling 38% from the land beyond, which ranked 14th in the country — though they were selective. Only 33.2% of their shot attempts were from long range.

While he doesn’t appear in the Wooden Award odds, the Blazers have themselves a stud guard in Jordan Walker. Named conference player of the year, he led C-USA in both scoring (21.6 ppg) and assists (5.3).

He has led the Blazers in scoring in 13 of the last 15 games, topping 20+ points in six straight.

UAB is also optimistic defensively, swiping 9.7 steals per game, which was seventh-best in the country. They also held opponents to 32% shooting from deep.

Houston Cougars Betting Analysis

Proving last year’s Final Four run was no fluke, the Cougars upped the ante this season. Houston swept both the American Athletic regular season crown and conference tournament title for the first time ever.

They’re also hot coming into Pittsburgh, having reeled off wins in nine of their last 10 games. Their only loss was to Memphis (in the NCAA’s as a 9 seed in the West Region), a loss they avenged in the tournament final.

Where they excel is on the defensive side of the ball, allowing just 58.9 points per game, which ranks fourth in the nation. They’re second only to San Diego State in points allowed in the field.

Offensively, they’re led by forward Fabian White Jr, who averaged 13.2 points and 5.7 rebounds, shooting 50.7% from the field and 39.8% from deep. Big man Josh Carlton posted 12 points and 6.4 rebounds a game, shooting a crisp 62.5% from the field. Both were All-AAC First Team selections.

Combine that 75.3 point scoring average with that stifling defense, and their margin of victory this year was a whopping 16 points per game, more than double of any team in the AAC. Only three teams had a larger margin over the course of a season, and two of them are no. 1 seeds: Gonzaga and Arizona. Murray State is the other.

UAB vs Houston Pick

Who’s style takes over in this one? According to KenPom, the Blazers operate at the 80th-ranked adjusted tempo in college hoops. Houston’s rank is a tortoise-esque 333rd — only 25 schools operate at a slower pace.

The Cougars are also one of the teams that seem built to cool any hot three-point shooting team. They held opponents to just 29% from beyond the arc on the season, 11th best in the NCAA and one of only 23 schools to post sub-30.

UAB are looking to be come the 52nd 12-seed to knock off a 5-seed since 1985, and the eighth to turn the trick since 2015.

Any other team, I’d be all in on the Blazers, but Houston is legit-good, and are 31-4 in games as they moneyline favorite. They roll, but expect UAB to force the Cougars out of their usual pace and comfort zone.

Pick: OVER 136 (-110)

Other March Madness Content

First Round Game Previews (Friday)

  1. Loyola Chicago vs Ohio State Odds and Picks (12:15 pm ET)
  2. Jacksonville State vs Auburn Picks and Odds (12:40 pm ET)
  3. Montana State vs Texas Tech Odds, Lines and Spread (1:45 pm ET)
  4. Yale vs Purdue Picks and Odds (2:00 pm ET)
  5. Delaware vs Villanova Odds, Lines and Spread (2:45 pm ET)
  6. Miami vs USC Odds and Picks (3:10pm ET)
  7. Notre Dame vs Alabama Picks and Odds (4:15 pm ET)
  8. Virginia Tech vs Texas Odds, Lines and Spread (4:30 pm ET)
  9. Chattanooga vs Illinois Odds and Picks (6:30 pm ET)
  10. Cal State Fullerton vs Duke Picks and Odds (7:10 pm ET)
  11. Iowa State vs LSU Odds, Lines and Spread (7:20 pm ET)
  12. Wright State vs Arizona Prediction (7:27 pm ET)
  13. Davidson vs Michigan State Odds, Lines and Spread (9:40 pm ET)
  14. Colgate vs Wisconsin Odds and Picks (9:50 pm ET)
  15. TCU vs Seton Hall Picks and Odds (9:57 PM ET)

First Round Game Previews (Thursday)

  1. Michigan vs Colorado State Odds and Picks (12:15 pm ET)
  2. Providence vs South Dakota State Picks and Odds (12:40 pm ET)
  3. Memphis vs Boise State Odds, Lines and Spread (1:45 pm ET)
  4. Norfolk State vs Baylor Odds and Picks (2:00 pm ET)
  5. Longwood vs Tennessee Picks and Odds (2:45 pm ET)
  6. Richmond vs Iowa Odds, Lines, and Spread (3:10 pm ET)
  7. Gonzaga vs Georgia State Odds (4:15 pm ET)
  8. Marquette vs UNC Picks and Odds (4:30 pm ET)
  9. New Mexico State vs UConn Odds, Lines, and Spread (6:50 pm ET)
  10. Saint Peter’s vs Kentucky Odds and Picks (7:10 pm ET)
  11. Indiana vs Saint Mary’s Picks and Odds (7:20 pm ET)
  12. Creighton vs San Diego State Odds, Lines, and Spread (7:27 pm ET)
  13. Vermont vs Arkansas Odds and Picks (9:20 pm ET)
  14. San Francisco vs Murray State Picks and Odds (9:40 pm ET)
  15. Akron vs UCLA Odds, Lines, and Spread (9:50 pm ET)
  16. Texas Southern vs Kansas Odds and Picks (9:57 pm ET)

Regional Previews

  1. East Region Odds — Baylor Earns Top Seed, Kentucky Favored
  2. Midwest Region Odds See Kansas Favored Over Auburn, Iowa and Wisconsin
  3. South Region Odds: Arizona +110 Favorites, Tennessee & Houston Sleepers
  4. West Regional Odds: Gonzaga Odds-On Favorite to Reach Final Four


Author Image