The No. 5 Houston Cougars are running roughshod in the AAC. No one has slowed them down since getting tripped up by the Tulsa Golden Hurricane early in conference play. The SMU Mustangs tried but failed, though they will get another crack at the Cougars this coming Sunday, this time as the road team. Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the SMU Mustangs vs Houston Cougars NCAA College Basketball Game on January 31 2021
Where: Fertitta Center, Houston, TX
When: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the SMU Mustangs (odds)
Record: 9-3 Overall / 5-3 Conference
After losing to the Memphis Tigers on Jan. 26 on the road, 76-72, the Mustangs immediately avenged that defeat as they scored a 67-65 win over Memphis on Jan. 28 at home. SMU is heading into the rematch against Houston with a 3-1 straight-up record in its last four games overall, a stretch that also includes wins over the Temple Owls and the UFC Knights. Feron Hunt led SMU in the win over Memphis, scoring 17 points to go with five rebounds, while Emmanuel Bandoumel had 15 points. Missing for the most part of the game was the scoring production of Kendric Davis, who only had six points, though managed to chip in four rebounds and eight assists. Davis is pacing the Mustangs this season with 17.3 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting from the field. Davis might have another surprise for Houston this coming Sunday. Davis powered his way through the Cougars’ defense for 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, albeit in a 74-60 home loss to Houston on Jan. 3. SMU’s defense did bother the Cougars, though, as the Cougars shot just 39.1 percent in that contest.
The over is 4-1 in SMU’s last five games overall.
Betting on the Houston Cougars (odds)
Record: 14-1 Overall / 9-1 Conference
Ever since the Cougars suffered their first – and so far, their only – loss this season at the hands of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane last December, Houston has racked up seven wins in a row. In their most recent outing, the Cougars beat the Tulane Green Wave on the road, 83-60. The Cougars had not played at home since they avenged their loss to Tulsa via a convincing 86-59 win on Jan. 20. Houston owns the best defense in the nation, statistically speaking. The Cougars are allowing just 56.5 points per game. It’s tough to get going on offense against the Cougars’ defense that limits opponents to only 36.4 percent shooting from the field, 25.4 percent clip from downtown, and 42.9 percent on two-point shots. The Mustangs certainly felt how tight Houston’s defense was the first time these two teams met this season. The Cougars won the rebounding battle in that game, 45-32, and forced 14 turnovers.
Houston is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games at home.
Houston wins, 75-64.
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