Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars Picks, Predictions, Odds

Nov. 16, 2021
David Schwab
VI Betting Expert

Tuesday night’s featured showdown between two of the better teams in the nation sends the ACC’s No. 25 Virginia Cavaliers on the road to face the AAC’s No. 15 Houston Cougars at Fertitta Center. Game time on ESPN is set for 8 p.m. (ET).

Score Prediction

Houston 66, Virginia 56

Best Bets

Houston -7.5

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars Predictions

As a traditional power in the ACC, Virginia’s loss to Navy in its season opener was a stunner. This also paints the Cavaliers as overrated coming into this season ranked in both national polls. Sometimes a team’s expectation level is determined by past accomplishments as opposed to future potential.

The Cougars also came into the new season with high expectations as one of the top 25 teams on the NCAAB futures board to win a national title. With a 2-0 straight-up start as double-digit favorites in each win, they have measured up to their billing.

Tuesday night’s matchup gives Virginia a chance to put the early loss quickly behind, but I do not see the Cavaliers winning on the road. This gives Houston a chance to post an early season quality win that could help its overall resume down the road.

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars Betting Odds

More Odds | Futures Odds

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars Betting Resources

  • Matchup: ACC vs. AAC
  • Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2021
  • Venue: Fertitta Center
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • TV-Time: ESPN - 8:00 p.m. ET

Bet in Virginia
Bet in West Virginia
Bet in Louisiana
Other Betting States

Virginia Cavaliers Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 1-1
  • ATS: 1-1
  • O/U: 2-0

Defense has always been the name of the game for Virginia. Even when this team struggled to score points, the defensive effort always kept the Cavaliers in the game. That is why the 66-58 loss to Navy as 15.5-point favorites in the season opener was such a stunner.

Playing Radford last Friday night, Virginia responded with a 73-52 rout to cover the hefty 17.5- point spread. The total has gone OVER in each of these games against very low closing lines (121 and 123.5).

Forward Jayden Gardner and guard Armaan Franklin has led the way for the Cavaliers in their first two games. Garner is averaging 18 points and 8.5 rebounds to lead the team in both categories. Franklin has scored 28 points in his first two games with four assists.

Guard Kihei Clark is third in scoring with 9.5 points per game. Guard Reese Beekman leads the team in assists with nine. Overall, Virginia is averaging 65.5 PPG and shooting 41.8% from the field. It has connected on 37.1% of its 35 attempts from three-point range.

Houston Cougars Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 2-0
  • ATS: 1-1
  • O/U: 1-1

The Cougars failed to cover as 19-point favorites in their season-opening 83-75 victory against Hofstra. Last Friday night, they improved to 2-0 with a convincing 79-46 romp over Rice as 13.5-point favorites. The total went OVER 141.5 points in the opener before staying UNDER 140.5 points in Friday’s win.

Houston has shone some level of consistency in its first two wins. The final score of the Hofstra game was closer than expected with the Cougars having to erase a 13-point deficit in the second half. That game was actually decided in overtime. None the less, the ability to pull away at the end should be noted.

Guard Marcus Sasser has had the hot hand with 51 points scored in the two games. He shot 48.5% from the field and 44.4% from three-point range. Guard Kyler Edwards has averaged 14 points through his first two games as the team’s second leader scorer.

The Cougars shot 43.2% from the field in those first two wins and 37% from outside the three- point line. They have also pulled down an average of 44 rebounds a game to create a significant edge against the Cavaliers (31).

The Houston Cougars have won the second half in 23 of its last 25 home games when playing at night. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Virginia Cavaliers

  • Record: 1-1
  • VI Ranking: 51
  • PS/G: 65.5 (275th)
  • PA/G: 59 (66th)
  • ORtg: 104.8 (165th)
  • DRtg: 94.4 (184th)

Inside the Stats - Houston Cougars

  • Record: 2-0
  • VI Ranking: 9
  • PS/G: 81 (112th)
  • PA/G: 60.5 (82nd)
  • ORtg: 119.1 (47th)
  • DRtg: 89 (120th)

Key Players to Watch

  • UVA: Jayden Gardner - F (18 ppg, 8.5 rpg)
  • UVA: Armaan Franklin - G (14 ppg)
  • UH: Marcus Sasser - G (25.5 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg)
  • UH: Kyler Edwards - G (14 ppg, 8.5 rpg)

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars Betting Conclusion

Depending on how much emphasis you put on ESPN power rankings, Houston has a significant overall edge in this matchup. The Cougars are given an 86.8% chance to win on Tuesday night. All things aside, I see Houston as the deeper team and much more balanced on either end of the court.

Citing some recent betting trends in the first ever meeting between these two teams, Virginia has failed to cover in seven of its last nine games. However, it is 10-3 SU in its last 13 road games. The total has stayed OVER in four of its last five outings going back to last season.

Houston brings a SU 20-game winning streak at home into Tuesday’s matchup. The total has stayed UNDER in four of its last five games against an ACC team. The Cougars also have a SU six-game winning streak in the month of November.

The game presents an excellent chance to bet a Mid-Major team over a Big 5 power SU on the money line. The chance to beat a major always add a higher level of motivation.

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars Betting Trends

  • Houston has won 27 straight home games.
  • Virginia has gone OVER the point total in two straight games.
  • Houston has won the second half in 23 of its last 25 home games when playing at night.