Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars Prediction, Pick and Preview, November 16 (11/16): NCAAB
- Nov 17, 2021, 7:20:04 AM
Credit: photo by Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
|Time||3:30 p.m. EST|
|Virginia money line||-350|
|Virginia spread||-7.5 (-110)|
|Houston money line||+275|
|Houston spread||+7.5 (-110)|
|Over / under||144.5|
The Virginia Cavaliers and the Houston Cougars will start their two year home-and-home series Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers got a rude awakeneing from Navy in the opener, but they responded by defeating in-state rival Radford at home. UVA took a 20-point lead into halftime, and didn't look back, dispatching the Highlanders 73-52, covering their first spread of the season.
The Cougars avoided a scare from Hofstra in the opener, and responded with an abrupt victory over neighboring rival Rice. Houston held the Owls to 15 points in the half, and cruised to a 79-46 victory, covering the generous 13.5 margin.
The Cavs have been powered by transfer portal signees Jayden Gardner and Armaan Franklin. Gardner has transferred in from ECU and has asserted himself as a force down low, leading the team with 18 ppg and 8.5 rpg.
Franklin, an Indiana transfer, paced the team with 21 points on 7-12 shooting against Radford. He's joined by veteran point guard Kihei Clark, who's averaging 9.5 ppg and 3.5 apg.
Sophomores Reece Beekman and Kadin Shedrick join them in the starting lineup, with the former leading the team in assists (4.5)
Kelvin Sampson's team lost a lot of pieces from last year's Final Four run. Junior guard Marcus Sasser is their returning leading scorer and he's exploded for 25 points in the first two games.
Kyler Edwards came over from Texas Tech, and he's brought a veteran presence into the offense. The senior guard is averaging career-best of 14 ppg and 8.5 apg, as he's had his string on the ball through the first pair of games.
Taze Moore also transferred in from another from another rugged basketball program, CSUB, and he's been a menace defensively. Senior big Fabian White returns to anchor the middle after a big postseason run.
Houston lost a lot of pieces, but UVA also loss the bulk of their roster. Three starters moved on, and it showed in the sluggish opener with Navy. Virginia looked much better against Radford, but Tony Bennett's methodical offense may find it tough to score here on the road against a Houston team that plays the same exact way. The Cougars should win what should be a slow-paced battle of titans, and the under is certainly in play.
PICK: Houston -7.5 (-110)
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