Sunday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Saint Louis-Houston, Nebraska-Oklahoma State
Denny Medley, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tim Miles
After Saturday’s jam-packed college basketball slate, we’re not left for dead on Sunday as the slate includes undefeated Houston against Saint Louis and Nebraska vs. Oklahoma State, which is in in search of its fifth win in its past six games.
Which sides present the most value? Let’s dissect each matchup.
>> All odds as of Saturday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.
Saint Louis Billikens at Houston Cougars
- Spread: Houston -8.5
- Over/under: 129
- Tip: 3 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPNU
The Cougars have received an abundance of praise for their 24th-rated Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (94.0 opponents’ Points Per 100 Possessions), but don’t ignore the Billikens in that department.
Saint Louis owns the 13th-ranked AdjD (92.2 opponents’ Points Per 100 Possessions), stymieing Seton Hall on the road for the cover while accomplishing the same in a 12-point home win over Butler.
Travis Ford’s unit will need to hold the Cougars (6-2-1 against the spread) off the offensive glass to stay within single digits, as they racked up 18 of them against the LSU to overcome a 15-point second half deficit in their latest affair. Houston does a fantastic job of gang rebounding, especially with the 49th-lowest Average Height in the country.
The Billikens (3-6 ATS) are sound themselves, ranking No. 31 and No. 99 in Defensive and Offensive Rebounding Rate, respectively. They also have the size advantage, and do-it-all wing Javon Bess (20.2% Defensive Rebounding Rate) should play a major role in his unit winning that battle.
If it controls the pace, Bess (14.3 points per game) will have his looks at the other end vs. a defense lacking a viable one-on-one matchup for him.
Plus, the Billikens have surrendered the 14th-lowest 3-point percentage (26.9%) in the nation, playing a key role since Houston relies on 46.8% of its offense from behind the arc.
According to our Bet Labs data, the Billikens are 11-9 (55.0%) ATS when at least an 8.5-point underdog over the past two regular seasons. Snatch the points in what should be a defensive slugfest.
THE PICK: Saint Louis +8.5
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
- Spread: Nebraska -7.5
- Over/under: 140
- Tip: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: Big Ten Network
Similar to the previous matchup, this contest should boil down to defense, but it’s particularly one-sided. The Cornhuskers (7-2-1 ATS) sit at No. 38 in AdjD (95.3 opponents’ Points Per 100 Possessions) in Division I, yielding the fifth-lowest opponents’ Effective Field Goal Percentage (41.7%).
The Cowboys (4-5 ATS) main offensive strength stems from their 3-point clip (41.6%), but Nebraska has allowed its opponents to shoot a mere 28.4% on 3s.
The Huskers’ ability to switch on ball screens from every position has given opponents fits, and its confusing looks should force OSU into continuing its 21.4% Turnover Rate.
Offensively, the Cornhuskers will have a size mismatch with Isaac Copeland (14.9 points per game) and Isaiah Roby (9.6 ppg). Their 57.4 team two-point percentage should allow them to run their attack inside-out, where point guard Glynn Watson Jr. has been dynamite via his 61.4 eFG%.
The same woes plagued the Cowboys against Houston in their most recent loss. The Cougars worked the ball through 6-foot-8 big Breaon Brady (5-of-6 shooting), and 3-point gunner Armani Brooks found his rhythm, hitting seven shots from deep.
The Cornhuskers are 4-0-1 (81.8%) ATS when favored by at least 7.5 points this season, per Bet Labs. Tim Miles’ crew will see that percentage rise after Sunday’s neutral court affair from … Sioux Falls, South Dakota. No, we’re not kidding.
THE PICK: Nebraska -7.5