Houston vs Virginia Odds, Picks | How to Bet This Top-5 Showdown
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamal Shead & Marcus Sasser (Houston)
Houston vs Virginia Odds
The Virginia Cavaliers and the Houston Cougars meet in a game highly anticipated by sicko college basketball fans who love slow-paced contests.
UVA comes into this game ranked 362nd in Adjusted Tempo (per KenPom) while Houston ranks 348th.
These teams play exceptionally tight defense, so every basket should matter just a little bit more to the total.
Houston has a top-two Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. UVA ranks 16th, so either way, it will not be easy for these teams to score.
There are a couple of hiccups that could hurt the total in this ball game, but at the end of the day, do not be shocked if this game ends with fewer than 100 points in regulation.
Defensive tenacity is the Cougars' calling card, but Houston does have a decent offense.
Houston gets 58.3% of its points from inside the arc, where it shoots 53.1%. It could get frustrating for the Cougars because UVA forces opponents outside the arc and is limiting them to 42.3% shooting on 2-pointers.
UVA is allowing teams to shoot 34.4% from deep, but Houston shoots under 33% from outside anyways.
Look for the Cavaliers to settle in defensively and not give the Cougars what they are used to getting inside.
Photo by CBB Analytics
Houston also doesn't generate many foul-shot opportunities and only shoots 69.2% from the charity stripe, so points will be few and far between from there.
Finally, Houston’s tempo is almost identical to UVA’s. The Cougars utilize 18.9 seconds per possession on offense and 17.9 seconds per possession on defense.
They are also holding opponents to 38.4% shooting on 2s and 23.7% on 3s, so even if UVA gets the occasional open shot, there likely won't be another one for a long time.
Now, the Cavaliers are probably going to be without one of their key sparks in this game.
Unfortunately, it looks like Reece Beekman could be sidelined with a hamstring injury. He is a tremendous boost on the defensive end of the floor and averages 10 points per game.
Still, the Cavaliers are such a well-oiled machine.
Virginia definitely has the better of these two offenses, as it ranks 10th, per KenPom (Houston ranks 30th).
Much of Virginia's production comes from the free-throw line, as the Cavaliers rank fifth in point distribution from the line. Houston ranks 204th in free-throw attempt percentage, so this may be the only glitch in betting the under in this game.
However, Virginia doesn't score many points from anywhere else on the floor. Yes, it has an effective field goal percentage of 54.4% and shoots almost 40% from outside, but it only gets 29.6% of its points from 3-point land.
With Houston’s defense, it's going to be tough for the Cavaliers to find open opportunities on offense.
Photo by CBB Analytics
In addition, Virginia won't see many possessions because of how slow each of these teams play. The Cavaliers average 19.7 seconds per possession on offense and 18.3 seconds per possession on defense.
If Virginia is using up the majority of the clock and unable to get fouled attacking the hoop, there will be plenty of empty possessions.
Houston vs. Virginia Betting Pick
These defenses are spectacular and each team is accustomed to playing at an unbearably slow pace. The Cavaliers may get some free-throw opportunities, but that is it.
Otherwise, there won't be many open looks in this game.
Houston defends the whole floor well, so UVA will be stalled on plenty of possessions. Houston also doesn't shoot well enough from the outside to exploit UVA’s one defensive weakness.
With that said, this game screams under. Take this from 113.5, and play it to 108.
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