The Cleveland State Vikings have upset on their minds, as they prepare to face the Houston Cougars in the first round of the 2021 March Madness. Will they get their wish? Or will the Cougars take care of their business and advance into the next round? Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the Cleveland State Vikings vs Houston Cougars NCAA College Basketball Game on March 19 2021
Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
When: Friday, March 19, 2021, 7:15 PM ET
TV Broadcast: truTV
Betting on the Cleveland State Vikings (+19.5)
Record: 19-7 Overall / 16-4 Conference
Cleveland State booked a spot in 2021 March Madness by winning the Horizon League tournament., begging the Oakland Grizzlies in the title game, 80-69. Cleveland State will be leaning on its defense that limited foes in the AAC to just 68.0 points per game and 41.9 percent shooting from the field. The Vikings’ sticky defense has resulted in a league-best average of 7.8 steals per game. Horizon League teams had a hard time getting the ball down the floor against the Vikings, who forced their conference rivals into committing 14.8 turnovers per game. Tre Gomillion personifies Cleveland State’s intensity on defense, as he won the AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Cleveland State is 3-1 against the spread in its last four games overall. The over is 7-3 in the Vikings’ last 10 games.
Betting on the Houston Cougars (-19.5)
Record: 24-3 Overall / 14-3 Conference
The Cougars lost considerable talent over and the offseason and during the season. Yet, Kelvin Sampson managed to steer his team into the Big Dance, which just goes to show everyone how good of a tactician he is, one that will be a force to reckon with in the sidelines this March. The Cougars have not lost since Feb. 18’s defeat at the hands of the Wichita State Shockers, and since then, have racked up seven wins in a row, including those over the likes of the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Memphis Tigers, twice each. Houston’s defense is regarded as among the best not just in the AAC but in the nation, as well. Houston is 16th nationally with an adjusted defensive rating of 84.4 and tops overall with an opponents’ effective field goal percentage of 42.9.
Houston is 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 games overall.
Houston wins, 72-59.
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