The SMU Mustangs and the Houston Cougars meet Thursday in college basketball action from Hofheinz Pavilion. SMU is 6-8 overall this year and coming off a win over Tulsa. As for Houston, they’re 14-1 after a win over UCF. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
SMU went just 3-7 over their first 10 games this year, beating Texas A&M-Commerce, Evansville and Lamar. It’s been a 3-1 run since then with wins over Iona, Utah State and Tulsa (with a loss to Hawaii).
In the Sunday game versus Tulsa, SMU took a 43-36 lead into the break. The Mustangs posted a 49-31 advantage from there and won it 92-67. Both Zach Nutall and Samuell Williamson put up 17 points apiece to lead the team.
Over on the Houston side, they went 9-0 to kick off the season, then lost to Alabama on December 10. Since then it’s been wins over NC A&T, Virginia, McNeese State, Tulsa and UCF in consecutive outings.
Matched up against UCF on Saturday, Houston took a 39-31 edge into the second half. The Cougars were outscored 34-32 from there but still won it 71-65. Tramon Mark led the team on 19 points with six rebounds and one assist.
PICK: I’m going to stick with Houston. The line's probably too thick to play around with, though. The Cougars were able to put away a good UCF team in their last outing despite shooting a tepid 37.5 percent from the floor. The Cougars had a 41-37 rebounding advantage and had just eight turnovers in the victory. Houston has scored 69 or more points in five straight games and will probably post a solid total here as well. As for SMU, they’ve scored 75 or more points in four of their last five but I don’t think they’ll hit that mark in this one. Houston should be in control if they play well.