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Houston vs. Cincinnati - 2/15/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Cincinnati Bearcats (23-2) at Houston Cougars (19-5)

College Basketball: Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm (Health and PE Arena)

The Line: Houston Cougars +2.5 -- Over/Under: 131 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS Sports Network

The 5th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats will travel to H&PE Arena to take on the Houston Cougars this Thursday night in College Basketball action.

The 5th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats won their 16th straight game and improved to 23-2 (12-0 AAC) on the season after defeating the SMU Mustangs, 76-51, this past Sunday. Cincinnati had no issues defeating a short-handed SMU team, who were missing their top two scorers, and easily pulled away after a 17-0 run to start the 2nd half gave the Bearcats a 49-21 lead with 15:43 remaining. Cincinnati held SMU to just 32.2% shooting from the field and 16.7% (4-24) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Bearcats was Kyle Washington who had 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. On the season, Cincinnati is averaging 76.5 ppg on 45.5% shooting from the field. The Bearcats are averaging 7.5 three-pointers per game on 36.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Cincinnati has been led by Jacob Evans (13.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.0 bpg), Gary Clark (12.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.4 bpg), Kyle Washington (11.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg), and Jarron Cumberland (10.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 spg). Defensively, Cincinnati is holding their opponents to an average of 55.9 ppg on 36.1% shooting from the field. The Bearcats have a rebound margin of 9.0 and a turnover margin of 3.6.

Houston vs. Cincinnati - 2/15/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Cougars won their 3rd straight game and improved to 19-5 (9-3 AAC) on the season after defeating the Tulane Green Wave, 73-42, this past Sunday. Houston was outstanding on the defensive end against Tulane and easily cruised to victory in the 2nd half after taking a 39-15 halftime lead. Houston held Tulane to just 28.6% shooting from the field and 18.8% (3-16) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Cougars was Armoni Brooks who had a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and a steal. On the season, Houston is averaging 77.0 ppg on 46.1% shooting from the field. The Cougars are averaging 8.5 three-pointers per game on 38.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Houston has been led by Rob Gray (17.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.2 spg), Corey Davis Jr. (12.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.9 apg), Devin Davis (10.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.5 apg), and Armoni Brooks (9.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg). Defensively, Houston is holding their opponents to average 65.0 ppg on 39.1% shooting from the field. The Cougars have a rebound margin of 6.4 and a turnover margin of 1.4.

The Bearcats are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Cougars are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 home games however, just 7-16-1 ATS in their last 24 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.

Cincinnati continues to run through the AAC conference and outside of Virginia, has been the best defensive team in the country as they come into this game ranked 2nd in scoring offense, 1st in defensive FG%, 6th in rebound margin, and 19th in turnover margin. Houston has won 5 of their last 6 games and is a team that has success on both ends of the court this season as they Cougars come into this game ranked T-95th in scoring offense, 23rd in scoring defense, and 7th in FG%. Houston was one of the very few teams that found some success against the Bearcats defense in their 80-70 loss to Cincinnati at the end of January and as Houston has been dominant at home, posting a perfect 12-0 record, I think Houston does enough in this one to at worst cover with the points. Take Houston and the points. 

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