Houston vs Towson Odds, Pick | College Basketball Betting Guide
Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images. Pictured: Kelvin Sampson (Houston)
Houston vs Towson Odds
Houston takes on its toughest test of the young season on Thursday as it squares off with Towson at TD Arena for the Charleston Classic.
The Cougars have looked like one of the best teams in college basketball through three games against cupcake opponents, and now they face a Towson squad with two wins of its own in three contests.
Houston has been a favorite of 30 points or more in all three games thus far, and this will be the first time this season the Cougars aren't expected to dominate their opponent in blowout fashion.
Here's college basketball odds and a pick for Houston vs Towson on Thursday, Nov. 16.
This year's Houston team has some new names, but it still looks and feels like a classic Kelvin Sampson program. The Cougars currently sit at 11th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, while holding the top spot of any team in the country in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom.
Going back the last three seasons, Houston has finished 11th or better in both categories.
The Cougars' two-way balance and toughness stand out as staples of the program in the Sampson Era. Gone are Marcus Sasser and Jarace Walker, but LJ Cryer and Jamal Shead look fully prepared to keep the run of elite guard play going.
In the frontcourt, J'Wan Roberts has stepped up in the absence of Walker. He tallied 17 points and nine rebounds in their win over Texas A&M-CC. Roberts only played eight minutes in Houston's most recent game due to a minor knee injury, and his status will be something to watch in this one.
Houston is currently leading the country in defensive turnover %, as its depth of perimeter talent has been hugely successful when it comes to forcing steals and pressuring opposing ball handlers. It won't be easy for the Towson guards to breathe in this game.
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Speaking of turnovers, that has been one of Towson's biggest weaknesses to start the year. The Tigers ranked 212th in turnover % last season and have started this campaign dropping all the way to 279th in the category.
Last year, Towson was led by its backcourt duo of Nicolas Timberlake and Cameron Holden. Timberlake transferred to Kansas and Holden graduated, leaving a vacancy at the guard spots.
6-foot-8 freshman guard Tyler Tejada has done an admirable job stepping in with his scoring, but he has a 1:2 assist-to-turnover ratio through three games.
The Tigers are very inexperienced at the guard spot, as they start two sophomores — alongside Tejada — who have combined for just eight career starts.
Despite the inexperience, it hasn't hurt Towson yet. The Tigers hold a 2-1 record with an impressive road win at Coppin State and a four-point victory over Robert Morris. However, the one high-caliber opponent they have faced was Colorado, and they got trounced, losing by 18 points on the road to the Buffaloes.
This will be an extremely tough test for a young but talented Towson squad. It will also be quite the opportunity to put a statement performance on its resume.
Houston vs. Towson
Betting Pick & Prediction
With Roberts banged up, Towson will have an opportunity to capitalize against a Houston squad at less than full strength.
With that said, it's hard to see the Towson guards handling Houston's pressure, and turnovers could be the deciding factor that pushes the Cougars to their fourth consecutive blowout win.
I like Houston to cover here.