The Auburn Tigers will face the Houston Cougars on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Houston (32-3) is the #1 seed in the Midwest Region, and they were able to knock off #16 seed Northern Kentucky in the first round, 63-52. #9 seeded Auburn (21-12) beat #8 Iowa in the first round, 83-75, with sophomore forward Johni Broome leading the way with 19 points. This matchup will feature two of the best defenses in the country, so we’ll see how each team fares.
Houston Cougars vs. Auburn Tigers Betting Odds
|Houston||-5.5 (-110)||Over 132 (-110)||-260|
|Auburn||+5.5 (-110)||Under 132 (-110)||+215|
Houston Cougars vs. Auburn Tigers Match Details
Fixture: Houston Cougars @ Auburn Tigers
Date & Time: Saturday, March 18, 7:10 p.m. EDT
Venue: Legacy Arena at BJCC
Houston Cougars vs. Auburn Tigers Key Stats
Houston is an excellent defensive team, and last game, they held Northern Kentucky to 27.5% from the field. Although NKU was a #16 seed, the Cougars have been forcing tough looks from their opponents all year long. Opponents have shot just 36.5% against Houston this year and 28% from three. On offense, Houston mainly goes to Marcus Sasser, who averages 16.7 points and shoots 38.2% from behind the arc. The Cougars have four players who average double-digit points, and Jamal Shead is the main playmaker, dishing out 5.4 assists per game. As a team, Houston commits just 10.1 turnovers, and even though they committed 17 last game, they usually take care of the ball well and will look to be less sloppy tonight.
Auburn holds teams to 40.3% from the field and 28.8% from deep, so we could see both schools struggle shooting-wise today. Broome showed out against Iowa, and he’s led the Tigers in scoring all year long. Wendell Green Jr. has been great on offense as well, averaging 13.9 points and a team-high 4.1 assists. Last game, the Tigers didn’t play their best defense, but they scored 83 points and executed pretty flawlessly. If they’re gonna knock off Houston today, they’ll need to get a lot of easy looks and put up a ton of points, similar to last round.
Houston Cougars vs. Auburn Tigers Betting Prediction
Houston has won six of their last seven, but they’ve covered just one of these seven contests. The Cougars have been winning, but they haven’t really won convincingly. On the other hand, Auburn has covered three of their last four, and with their level of defense, they could hang with Houston on Saturday. Back Auburn to at least cover, even if they don’t pull the upset.
Prediction: Auburn +5.5 (-110)
Lucas Abrenica’s NCAA Basketball ATS & ML picks this season are 91-73-3 (+99.7 units)