Houston vs Auburn Prediction March Madness Picks, 03/18

Houston vs Auburn Prediction March Madness Picks, 03/18

Photo credit: © Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

 

Odds

Time 7:10 p.m. EST
Tigers money line +210
Tigers spread +5 (-110)
Cougars money line -250
Cougars spread -5 (-110)
Over / under 132

 

2022-2023 season stats

  Auburn Tigers Houston Cougars
Record 21-12 32-3
Neutral Site 3-2 5-1
Streak W1 W1
Points per game 72.00 74.00
Points allowed per game 67.00 56.00
Rebounds per game 33.00 36.00
Rebounds allowed per game 32.00 34.00
Over / under record 20-13 15-19-1
 

Preview

The NCAA Tournament is heating up as the Houston Cougars are set to face the Auburn Tigers in the second round. The No. 2 seed Houston will take on the No. 7 seed Auburn in a clash of two talented basketball programs. The game is set to take place on Saturday, March 19th, at 7:10 pm EDT in Birmingham, Alabama. Both teams are looking to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, and this game will be critical to that effort.

 

Auburn Tigers

The Auburn Tigers are not to be underestimated, even though they come into this game as the underdogs. They finished the regular season with a record of 21-12 and 10-8 in the SEC. They had a strong showing in the SEC tournament, reaching the semifinals before losing to the eventual champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tigers have had an up-and-down season but have shown that they can compete with some of the best teams in the nation.

The Tigers have a balanced offense, averaging 77.3 points per game, and have several players who can score in double digits on any given night. They are led by freshman forward Jabari Smith, who averages 17.2 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. He is a versatile scorer who can shoot from beyond the arc or take it to the basket. Junior guard Wendell Green Jr. is also a significant contributor to the Tigers' offense, averaging 15.9 points and 4.6 assists per game. He is a skilled ball-handler who can create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.

The Tigers also have a solid defense, allowing an average of only 68.2 points per game. They have a rebounding margin of +5.7, which is respectable but not on the same level as the Cougars. The Tigers rely heavily on their ability to force turnovers and create scoring opportunities in transition. They average 7.4 steals per game, which is 29th in the nation.

The Tigers have struggled in their last ten games, winning only four of them. They have allowed their opponents to score an average of 75.4 points per game while scoring an average of 75.3 points per game. They will need to step up their defense if they hope to upset the Cougars in this game.

 

Houston Cougars

The Houston Cougars come into this game as the clear favorite. They have had an incredible season, finishing with a record of 32-3 overall and 17-1 in the AAC. They were also crowned the AAC champions, winning the conference tournament with ease. The Cougars have been dominant all season, and they will look to continue that dominance in the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars have a balanced offense and a stout defense, which has been the key to their success this season. They average 77.6 points per game, while allowing only 57.9 points per game, which ranks them third in the nation in scoring defense. They also have a rebounding margin of +10.6, which is second in the nation. This rebounding prowess has led to second-chance points for the Cougars, which has been a significant factor in their success this season.

Offensively, the Cougars are led by junior guard Marcus Sasser, who averages 16.7 points per game while shooting 43.9% from the field. He is a lethal scorer from beyond the arc, shooting 36.5% from three-point range. Sasser is not the only offensive weapon for the Cougars, as they have several players who can score in double digits on any given night. Quentin Grimes, DeJon Jarreau, and Justin Gorham have all contributed significantly to the Cougars' offensive production this season.

Defensively, the Cougars are led by senior guard DeJon Jarreau, who is a tenacious defender and one of the best in the nation. He averages 1.8 steals per game and is always a threat to force a turnover. Justin Gorham is also a standout defender, averaging 0.9 blocks per game and 8.7 rebounds per game. These two players are the heart and soul of the Cougars' defense and will be critical in stopping the Auburn offense.

The Cougars have been impressive in their last ten games, winning nine of them. They have held their opponents to an average of 59.7 points per game while scoring an average of 72.4 points per game. Their defense has been particularly impressive, and they will look to continue their dominance in this game against Auburn.

 

BETTING TRENDS

The total has gone OVER in 5 of Auburn's last 6 games.

Auburn are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the American Athletic Conference conference.

The total has gone OVER in 15 of Auburn's last 18 games played in March.

Auburn are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games played on a Saturday.

Houston are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston's last 5 games.

Houston are 14-1 SU in their last 15 games.

Houston are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.

Houston are 17-3 SU in their last 20 games played in March.

 

Prediction

While the Auburn Tigers have the talent to compete with the Houston Cougars, the Cougars' dominance on defense and rebounding gives them the edge in this game. The Cougars have been one of the best defensive teams in the nation all season, and they have the size and athleticism to match up with the Tigers' offense. They will look to slow down Jabari Smith and force the Tigers to rely on their less consistent scorers.

Offensively, the Cougars have a balanced attack that should be able to exploit the Tigers' defense. Marcus Sasser is a dynamic scorer who can shoot from beyond the arc or take it to the basket. The Cougars also have several players who can score in double digits, which makes them difficult to defend. The Tigers will need to play their best defense of the season if they hope to slow down the Cougars' offense.

In terms of the point spread, the Cougars are favored by 5 points. While that may seem like a lot, the Cougars have covered the spread in 19 of their 35 games this season, including their last four games. The Tigers, on the other hand, have covered the spread in only 12 of their 33 games this season. Given the Cougars' dominance on defense and rebounding, it is reasonable to expect them to win by more than five points.

In conclusion, the Houston Cougars are the clear favorite in this game, and they have the talent and experience to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The Tigers have shown that they can compete with some of the best teams in the nation, but they will need to play their best game of the season to upset the Cougars. The Cougars' defense and rebounding should give them the edge in this game, and they should be able to cover the -5 points spread.

 

PICK: Houston -5 (-110)

 

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