Houston Cougars vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Betting Preview
Where: Fifth Third Arena — Cincinnati, Ohio
When: Thursday, March 2, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
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Betting on the Houston Cougars (20-8, 11-5 AAC)
Houston clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming AAC Tournament with a nerve-wracking 72-71 victory over the Memphis Tigers on Sunday. Damyean Dotson scored 31 points, including the game-winning free throw with 3.3 seconds left to give the Cougars their seventh win in their last eight outings.
The Cougars will look to sustain the momentum of that huge victory when they lock horns with the Cincinnati Bearcats tonight. A win here would boost Houston’s chances of sneaking into the Big Dance. They need to keep the victories going to overcome their mediocre 11-5 conference slate. Key to the Cougars’ resurgence has been their excellent play on the defensive end. They are allowing an average of just 65.5 points over their last eight games.
The Cougars are currently 30th in the nation in scoring defense, surrendering just 64.6 points per contest this season. They will need to be at their best, though, against a Cincinnati side that features its best offensive team in 11 years under head coach Mick Cronin.
Houston is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS in its last eight road games.
Betting on the Cincinnati Bearcats (25-4, 14-2 AAC)
Now that was a shock. The Cincinnati Bearcats had their three-game winning streak snapped on Saturday with a 53-49 loss to the UCF Knights. It was a heart-breaking defeat for the Bearcats who saw their chances of lifting the American Athletic Conference regular-season title go up in smoke. The Bearcats have two more regular-season games to go and they now need some help to claim the conference crown this year.
They will look to get their season back on track when they square off with the Houston Cougars later tonight. The Bearcats will fancy their chances of doing just that as they have fared extremely well against the Cougars of late. The Bearcats have won eight of their last nine meetings with the Cougars. For Cincinnati to grab the all-important victory against Houston, the Bearcats need to improve on their play on the offensive end. Cincinnati posted seasons lows of 49 points and 29.6 percent shooting in the loss to UCF. That’s quite disappointing for the Bearcats who entered that game with averages of 76.2 points and 47.0 percent field goal shooting.
One guy who needs to step up for Cincinnati is captain Troy Caupain. The senior point guard struggled mightily in the loss to the Knights, going just 1-for-9 from the field, including 1-for-6 from 3-point range. Caupain also tied his season high with four turnovers in that defeat.
Cincinnati is 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS in its last seven home games against Houston.
Cincinnati (-8) wins, 70-60.
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