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Kentucky vs. Houston - 3/29/19 NCAA Tournament College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Houston at Kentucky
Date & Time Friday March 29, 2019, 9:59 PM (EDT)
Sprint Center
Kansas City, Missouri
The Line
Kentucky Wildcats -2.5 O/U: 135.5
TV Channel
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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Cougars and the Kentucky Wildcats will meet up on the college basketball circuit in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 on Friday.

Houston rolls into this one at 33-3 overall on the year. The Cougars fell to Cincinnati in the AAC Tournament, but took out Georgia State in the First Round and Ohio State in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

In the win over the Buckeyes, Houston’s top performer was Corey Davis with 19 points, five rebounds and two assists. Galen Robinson added 13 points and five assists with three boards for the Cougars there as well.

Over on the Kentucky side, they’re 29-6 this year. The Wildcats’ SEC Tournament loss came to Tennessee back on the 16th, but since they’ve logged NCAA Tournament wins over ACU and Wofford.

In the win over the Terriers, Kentucky’s lead scorer was Reid Travis on 14 points with 11 rebounds. The only other Wildcats player in double-figures there was Ashton Hagans with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.

The Cougars are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 neutral-site games. Houston is 4-9 ATS in their last 13 versus the SEC and 35-16-2 ATS in their last 53 overall.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in their last six non-conference games and 5-1-2 ATS in their last eight NCAA Tournament games. Kentucky is 34-16-4 ATS in their last 54 neutral-site games and 1-4 ATS in their last five after an ATS win.

Realistically speaking, toppling Kentucky probably would have been a really tall order for tournament darlings Wofford, but they get credit for hanging in there and only falling by six. As for the Wildcats, that’s two decent bounce-back wins after the Tennessee loss, and we’ll get a real chance to see what they’re made of here.

Houston had a couple of lulls offensively in the AAC tourney, but since then they’ve stretched their legs with 158 total points over two games. This matchup with Kentucky should be a real battle, as both teams can really get going when they’re on their respective games.

I’m tentatively going to side with the Cougars here, but there’s not a lot of wiggle room line-wise, so tread lightly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some scoreboard fireworks as well, so if you can find a good O/U number the over looks like a fun selection.

Houston Cougars +2.5

Andrew has been with Sports Chat Place since 2012, contributing to football, baseball and basketball across the fantasy, college and professional ranks. His goal is to break down the complicated trends and numbers into a language that's accessible even if you're not a seasoned sports bettor, providing comprehensive insight that can apply to just about everyone. Follow Andrew on Twitter for links to his latest Sports Chat Place picks. 

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