Cincinnati vs Houston Prediction - Basketball Picks 3/11/23

Houston Cougars (30-2) vs Cincinnati Bearcats (20-11)

Game Info: Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 3:00 pm (Dickies Arena)

Betting Odds: Houston Cougars -10 -- Over/Under: 137 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats will face off in Fort Worth at the semifinals of the AAC Championship from the Dickies Arena on ESPN2. 

 

Cincinnati moved to 21-11 after defeating Temple in the quarterfinals. The Bearcats blitzed the Owls in both halves to beat them by thirty. Cincinnati is scoring 77.3 points per game, while allowing 67.3 ppg, and shooting 45.1% from the field.

Cincinnati has won four of their last five games, but they will now face the tall task of taking down Houston. Landers Nolley II scored a team-high 22 points in the win over Temple, and he leads the Bearcats in scoring (16.5), while grabbing 5.7 rpg. Longtime Cincy guard David DeJulius scored 30 points in the home finale win over SMH, and he’s up to 15.1 ppg and a team-lead 5.2 apg. Sophomore forward Viktor Lakhin leads the Bearcats in rebounding (7.1), while scoring 12.1 ppg. Veterans Jeremiah Davenport (9.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Mike Adams-Woods (9.1 ppg, 3.3 apg) round out the starting lineup for Cincinnati.

Houston improved to 30-2 after defeating East Carolina in the quarterfinals. The Cougars pulled away from the Pirates in the second half to win by fourteen, 60-46. Houston is scoring 76.3 points per game, while allowing 56.2 ppg, and shooting 47.1% from the field. 

Houston has arguably been the most impressive team in the nation, and aside from a second half collapse versus Alabama and a single-point loss to Temple, they’ve been flawless over the past four months. Senior guard Marcus Sasser has scored 20 points or more in each of the last seven of the last eight games, and after a 30-point outing versus ECU, he’s up a team-lead 17.1 ppg. Freshman forward Jarace Walker scored 25 points in the January win over Cincy, and he’s second on the team in scoring (11.1) and rebounding (6.7). Veteran point guard Jamal Shead went off for a season-high 25 points in the win over Wichita, then hit a game-winner against Memphis and he’s averaging 9.9 ppg and a team-leading 5.4 apg. Third-year Cougs Tramon Mark (10.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg) and J’Wan Roberts (10.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) round out the starting five. 

Cincinnati is 20-10 against the spread this season, with a 16-13-1 over/under record. Houston is 17-14 ATS this year, with a 15-16 o/u record.

There’s no doubt in my mind Houston wins this game, I just have a feeling this veteran Cincinnati team feels the pressure and shows up. If the Bearcats bow out here, they could become casualties on the bubble, while if they perform well, even a strong effort versus the top team in the country would help plead their case this Sunday. Houston is battle-tested, but Cincy comes into this one with their backs against the wall, and they’re going to give it their all. Spot Cincinnati the points for this AAC Semifinal.

Corey’s Pick Cincinnati +10

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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