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SMU vs. Houston Predictions, Odds

 


  • January 31, 2021
  • By Thom Cunningham
  • VegasInsider.com

The SMU Mustangs hit the road in a big AAC game as they take on the Houston Cougars. Tip is set for 1 p.m. (ET) and will air on ESPN.

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WHERE TO BET SMU-HOUSTON

SMU-Houston Betting Odds

  • Spread: Houston -10
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 139.5

Odds Subject to Change

The Houston Cougars are double-digit home favorites, given a -10-point spread. Houston has covered the spread in 11 of its last 15 games this season, while SMU has failed to cover seven of 12 games.

The point total is set at 139.5, which could go in either direction. SMU has gone OVER the point total in eight of 12 games, while Houston is 6-9 on the O/U this season.

Betting Analysis – SMU Mustangs

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 9-3
  • ATS: 5-6-1
  • SU - Home: 6-2
  • SU - Away: 3-1
  • O/U: 8-4

SMU is coming off a split series against the Memphis Tigers, in which the Mustangs showed spurts of what they're capable of on offense. The offense looked strong at some points against the Tigers' top-ranked defense, still hovering around the nation's top 75 in points per game.

Kendric Davis is the team leader in points (17.3) and assists (7.7) per game, the main catalyst for the offense. He was held to under 10 points in both games against Memphis, the only two games this season in which Davis failed to touch least 11.

The glass is half full though, as SMU's offense was able to beat Memphis' defense without their top scorer playing well. Although Davis struggled to score, he displayed his high assist tally with a combined 14 in the two games against Memphis.

Davis has seen six or more assists in five straight games, including 14 against Cincinnati. Give credit to others such as Feron Hunt, Emmanuel Bandoumel and Ethan Chargios for converting on the dimes too. This is an offense that ranks 56th in efficiency, all going through the play of Davis.

Betting Analysis – Houston Cougars

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 14-1
  • ATS: 11-4
  • SU - Home: 10-1
  • SU - Away: 4-1
  • O/U: 6-9

The strength for Houston is the defense, allowing just 56.5 points per game which is the best in the nation. So despite SMU having a highly efficient offense, it will be very difficult to maintain against this defense.

Houston has the third-highest defensive efficiency rating in the nation (84.6), the 42nd-most steals per game (8.2), the 61st-most blocks per game (4.2) and the sixth-highest rebounding total per game (42.1). Five players average 1.1 or more steals per game for Houston, with Quentin Grimes leading the way.

Grimes also leads the team in points per game (17.6), while Marcus Sasser isn't far behind. Those two are the main threats for Houston, on both sides of the ball, while Justin Gorham cleans up the glass with 9.7 boards per game.

The team hasn't missed a beat with Caleb Mills being out, as there isn't anything that stands out as a huge weakness for Houston. The two-point percentage could be better, only shooting 35.9% which ranks 275th. Overall, the team's offense is generated through the defense which begins with the lethal backcourt of Grimes, Sasser and even senior Dejon Jarreau and freshman Tramon Mark.


Inside the Stats – SMU Mustangs

  • PS/G: 77.5 (66th)
  • PA/G: 67.5 (105th)
  • Off Rtg: 109.3 (56th)
  • Def Rtg: 95.2 (88th)

Inside the Stats – Houston Cougars

  • PS/G: 74.4 (117th)
  • PA/G: 56.5 (1st)
  • Off Rtg: 111.4 (40th)
  • Def Rtg: 84.6 (3rd)

Key Players to Watch

  • SMU - Kendric Davis (17.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 7.7 APG)
  • SMU - Feron Hunt (12.4 PPG, 8 RPG)
  • UH - Quentin Grimes (17.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG)
  • UH - Marcus Sasser (15.3 PPG)

SMU-Houston Predictions

Houston should win this game with the -10-point cover, although SMU will more than likely keep this within distance for a majority of the game. The Mustangs' offense came and went against Memphis, as Houston's defense (at home) presents a much more difficult challenge.

It's tough to see SMU be consistently good on offense in this game, so expect Houston to pull away at some point. The point total is a bit tricky here, but both defenses are holding teams to under 68 points per game. Even if one team does touch 70, there's a good chance to other doesn't which would see the total go UNDER.

Both teams do average roughly 75 points per game. Taking the points scored and allowed by both teams this season would see a median of about 72. Assuming that's the high score for the winning team (most likely Houston), even cutting SMU's spread in half (-5) would see the point total go UNDER.

  • Score Prediction: Houston 72 SMU 67
  • Best Bets: UNDER

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