Houston vs Northern Kentucky Pick – Basketball Predictions & Odds 3/16/23
Northern Kentucky Norse (22-12) vs. Houston Cougars (31-3)
March 16, 2023 9:20 pm EDT
The Line: Houston Cougars -19.5 / Northern Kentucky Norse +19.5 ; Over/Under:
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The Northern Kentucky Norse and the Houston Cougars meet Thursday in NCAA Tournament First Round college basketball action from Legacy Arena. Northern Kentucky is 22-12 overall on the year. The Norse beat Cleveland State to win the Horizon League Tournament last Tuesday. As for Houston, they’re sitting at 31-3 this year following a loss to Memphis in Sunday AAC Tournament activity. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Northern Kentucky Norse
Northern Kentucky finished off their regular-season campaign at 19-12 overall. The Norse beat Detroit Mercy and Oakland in the final two games. Northern Kentucky would then beat Oakland again 81-74 in the first round of the conference tourney, then beat Youngstown State 75-63.
Last Tuesday in the Horizon League Tournament championship, the Norse held a 33-30 edge going into the second half. Northern Kentucky was outscored 31-30 from there but still won 63-61. Leading the charge was Marques Warrick with 18 points and six rebounds.
Over on the Houston side, they managed a 30-2 run across their regular season this year. The Cougars closed out with an impressive 11-game winning streak. In the first two rounds of the AAC Tournament, Houston beat East Carolina 60-46 and Cincinnati 69-48.
Back on Sunday in the championship versus Memphis, Houston was outscored 46-31 in the first half. The Cougars got better on a 34-29 run from there but still lot 75-65. Jamal Shead led the team on 16 points and J’wan Roberts added 12 points and 20 rebounds.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’ll probably stick with Houston in this one. The line’s a little too thick to mess with, though. The Cougars really didn’t play their best in the first half against Memphis on Sunday. Houston would finish with a rough 31.3 percent from the field, 67.9 percent (19-of-28) from the line and a 42-36 rebounding advantage (22-9 offensive). Prior to that, the Cougars had given up 66 points or fewer in 11 straight games. As for Northern Kentucky, they’re coming off a gritty win over Cleveland State and have now won five consecutive outings. The Norse have been a mixed bag scoring-wise lately with 67 or fewer points in four of their last seven. I don’t know that they’ll be able to keep pace with Houston if the Cougars play well.