AAC Tournament Championship Betting Guide: Will Houston Collect Third-Straight Cover vs. Cincinnati?

AAC Tournament Championship Betting Guide: Will Houston Collect Third-Straight Cover vs. Cincinnati? article feature image

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Galen Robinson Jr.

AAC Tournament Championship Betting Odds: Cincinnati-Houston

  • Spread: Houston -4
  • Over/Under: 129.5
  • Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

>> All odds as of Sunday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time CBB odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

Although Michigan-Michigan State will garner much the interest before Selection Sunday, don’t forget about the American Athletic Conference tournament title game, which presents No. 1 seed Houston against No. 2 Cincinnati.

The Cougars (20-11-2 against the spread) won and covered in both of their matchups vs. the Bearcats (13-20 ATS) this season — one of which came last Sunday in Cincinnati.

Kelvin Sampson’s bunch faced a six-point deficit with 13:37 to go, but it finished on a 44-22 run the rest of the way. Although Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin cost his team by sitting his leading scorer Jarron Cumberland (18.4 points per game) in foul trouble, Houston’s elite ball pressure was the key to its second-half surge.

Even though the Cougars rank No. 245 in Adjusted Tempo (66.2 possessions per 40 minutes), their 13th-rated Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (91.2 opponents’ points per possession) allowed it to push the pace to close things out.

Moreover, their 20th-ranked block rate (13.9%) gave them an advantage against a Bearcats team yielding the third-highest percentage (12.1%) in that area. Houston’s 6-foot-7 Fabian White tallied three of blocks in their second meeting.

At the other end, Cincinnati struggles to matchup on the perimeter, especially in transition. It has allowed the 15th-highest 3-point scoring rate (38.6%) while the Cougars have manufactured the 67th-highest scoring percentage (36.4%) in the country.

What does it all mean for today’s contest?

With a trio of ball handlers (Corey Davis, Galen Robinson, Dejon Jarreau) to create their offense from behind the arc, Houston has combined to amass a 43.2% 3-point clip in their two affairs with the Bearcats. Look for that success to continue in Memphis.

Sampson’s unit has even racked up the 21st-highest offensive rebounding rate, producing additional second-chance opportunities from distance. That’ll come into play once again, as Cincinnati owns a below-average 29.0% defensive rebounding clip.

If you’re interested in the over/under, the Cougars and Bearcats have combined to hit the under in 54.8% of their games this season — with their two duels going in both directions. I’d lean toward the under, as each program is playing its third game in three days — tacked onto them both boasting a top-30 AdjD.

It’s difficult to notch three straight wins — outright and ATS — vs. the same team in a single season because of the familiarity factor. But with an outside chance at a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, Houston boasts too many advantages to have a letdown in a potential Cincinnati revenge spot, as it lost to these Bearcats in the AAC tournament championship game last season.

THE PICK: Houston -4

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