College Basketball Picks

Houston vs UCF Prediction Basketball Picks 1-20-24

Central Florida Knights (11-5) vs. Houston Cougars (15-2)
January 20, 2024 2:00 pm EDT
The Line: Houston Cougars -16.5 ; Over/Under: 126.5
(Get latest betting odds)

The UCF Knights and the Houston Cougars meet Saturday in college basketball action from Hofheinz Pavilion. Central Florida is coming off a Wednesday game versus Texas. In that one the Knights improved to 11-5 with a six-point victory. As for Houston, they played Texas Tech in their last matchup. The Cougars went on to post a dominant victory that improved the team to 15-2 this year. Let’s get into our UCF vs. Houston prediction. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.

UCF Knights

The Knights posted a 6-3 run over their first nine outings. The losses in that time were versus Miami, Stetson and Ole Miss. UCF managed a 4-2 run over their next six games, losing to Kansas State and BYU with wins over Maine, Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman and Kansas otherwise.

In the Wednesday matchup versus Texas, Central Florida was in trouble at halftime with a 44-32 deficit. The Knights fought back from there with a nice 45-27 run however, taking the comeback win 77-71. Jaylin Sellers put up 24 points with five rebounds off the bench to lead the way.

Houston Cougars

Over on the Houston side, they kicked off the year with wins over LA-Monroe, Texas A&M-CC, Stetson, Towson, Utah, Dayton, Montana, Xavier, Rice, Jackson State, Texas A&M, Texas State, Penn and West Virginia. The next pair were losses to Iowa State and TCU, though.

Matched up against Texas Tech on Wednesday, the Cougars jumped out to a 38-29 edge by halftime and finished off with a 39-25 second half run for a nice 77-54 victory. Houston’s Jamal Shead put up 29 points with 10 assists and four rebounds on 12-of-16 shooting from the field.


I’m going to stick with Houston. The Cougars played very well versus a good Texas Tech team in their last matchup. Houston shot a blistering 52.4 percent from the field and 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from 3-point range in that one with a 38-28 rebounding advantage and just six turnovers. It was a nice bounce-back from the combined 120 points the Cougars generated over their previous two games.

As for UCF, they took out a talented Texas team on the road in their Wednesday game, which makes two big wins in the last three outings. The Knights could very well give Houston some trouble if UCF is playing well, but in the end I think the Cougars will come through on a cover.

Andrew's Free Pick: Houston Cougars -16.5

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Andrew has been writing about college, professional and fantasy sports betting since 2013. Andrew's goal is to break down the complicated numbers and trends into a language that's easily accessible to novice sports bettors and seasoned professionals alike.

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