Cincinnati at Houston
|Date & Time||Sunday March 17, 2019, 3:15 PM (EDT)|
Houston Cougars -4 -- O/U: 129.5
The Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats meet in the American Athletic Conference championship game from the FedExForum in college basketball action on Sunday.
The Cincinnati Bearcats come into this game looking to defeat the Cougars for their 2nd straight conference championship in their 3rd straight title game appearance after a 66-63 win over Wichita State in their semifinal matchup on Saturday. Nysier Brooks led the Bearcats with 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting with a team-high 9 rebounds while Tre Scott chipped in 12 points with 8 rebounds and Jarron Cumberland added 11 points with 6 rebounds and a team-high 4 assists to round out the trio of double-digit scorers for Cincinnati in the win. Justin Jenifer added 7 points with 4 assists of his own as well in the winning efforts. Cumberland leads Cincinnati in scoring and assists with 18.6 points and 3.7 assists per game while Scott leads the Bearcats in rebounding with 6.8 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Cincinnati is averaging 72 points per game on 43.3% shooting from the field, 34.9% from behind the arc and 70.9% from the foul line this season.
The Houston Cougars will look to pick up their first conference championship in their 2nd straight appearance after a 61-58 win over Memphis in their semifinal matchup last time out. Corey Davis Jr. led Houston with 17 points on 7 of 16 shooting including 3 threes and 5 rebounds with a pair of blocks as the lone Houston player to score in double figures in the winning effort. Breaon Brady added 9 points while Fabian White Jr. chipped in a team-high 9 rebounds and Dejon Jarreau dished out a team-high 4 assists. Davis Jr. leads Houston in scoring with 16.8 points per game while Armoni Brooks leads the Cougars in rebounding with 6.6 rebounds per game and Galen Robinson Jr. leads Houston in assists with 5.1 assists per game this season. As a team, Houston is averaging 76.7 points per game on 45.1% shooting from the field, 36.6% from behind the arc and 71.3% from the foul line this season. Houston is one of the better defensive units in the country, sitting 8th in scoring defense, allowing just 61.1 points per game on 37% shooting from the field and 27.7% from behind the arc, the 2nd-lowest field goal percentage and 3rd-lowest 3-point percentage against in the country this season.
Cincinnati is 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games overall while the under is 7-1 in their last 8 games following a win. Houston is 33-16-2 ATS in their last 51 games overall and 23-10-1 ATS in their last 34 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 9-2 in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record.
Cincinnati has been in a lot of close calls lately, so the points could be worth a look in the conference championship game. However, the Bearcats have also struggled ATS overall for a few weeks now, and have played down to a lot of lower opposition lately. Houston swept Cincinnati in the regular season by an average of 11.5 points per game and while it is hard to beat the same team three times in a season, I just don’t see Cincinnati keeping up here, so I’ll lay the points with Houston here.