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Oral Roberts vs. Houston Odds, Picks: Pace Will Matter in Texas

Oral Roberts vs. Houston Odds, Picks: Pace Will Matter in Texas article feature image

Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Kelvin Sampson (Houston)

Oral Roberts vs. Houston Odds

Monday, Nov. 14
8 p.m. ET
Oral Roberts Odds
-115o / -105u
Houston Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Monday's matchup between Houston and Oral Roberts is appointment viewing if you're a college basketball fan.

This is a battle between one of the top five teams in the country against one of the top five mid-major programs in the country, one that some believe can hang with the Cougars.

Against Saint Mary's stout defense, the Golden Eagles struggled to get much of anything going on the offensive end in their eventual 78-70 loss. They'll be up against an even tougher defense in Houston, with a stronger offense to boot.

Can Oral Roberts' offense be the high-scoring unit we expected it to be? Or are we in for second of many 20+ point wins in the Fertitta Center this season?

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

The offense wasn't particularly bad by Oral Roberts on Monday against Saint Mary's — it just wasn't what we're used to seeing from the Golden Eagles.

Max Abmas scored just 14 in the loss — only four times all of last season did he score 14 or less.

I don't think the offensive struggles will continue for the length of the season for him or the rest of the team, but it's going to be tough to score on this Houston squad.

Oral Roberts will also need to be considerably better when it comes to ball security. Saint Mary's racked up eight steals against the Golden Eagles, and Houston was one of the best teams in the country in this area last season.

In terms of turnover percentage on defense, the Cougars ranked 30th in the nation, as they came away with a turnover on 21.7% of possessions.

Pushing the pace as much as it can will only help Oral Roberts. The more possessions it can add to the game, the more likely it is that it can keep up with this Cougars team.

Playing Houston's slow precise style of basketball won't bode well for the Golden Eagles — as we saw against the Gaels.

Getting rebounds is something they need to be better at, but this could prove difficult against Cougars team that is 41st nationally when it comes to offensive rebound percentage.

Taking advantage of trips to the charity stripe, meanwhile, could change this game for Oral Roberts. Houston has been horrendous so far when it comes to shooting free throws, as well as sending opponents to the line. Both of the Cougars' first two opponents had 16 attempts at the line.

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Houston Cougars

Houston's main goal against Oral Robert's is simple: play its game of basketball and maintain control.

That seems easy enough until you factor in Abmas. It's only been two games so far — one of which against a Division II program — but Abmas hasn't really put up that highlight-reel performance we saw so much of last year and the year prior.

It's going to happen — there's no doubt about that — but all Houston can do is prevent it from happening to them. The Cougars need to do that by slowing down the game, winning the battle on the glass and avoiding fouls.

I think my biggest concern with Houston is fouls and sending Oral Roberts to the line.

The Cougars are better than Oral Roberts in nearly every facet of the game, but putting Abmas and Co. on the free throw line and racking up fouls will only allow for the Golden Eagles to hang around longer and longer.

Oral Roberts vs. Houston Betting Pick

Yes, Houston is one of the best teams in the country, but it's laying too many points here against Abmas and an Oral Roberts offense that could take off at anytime.

That's not a risk I'm willing to take.

Instead I'll look to the total in this matchup. I think regardless of how well Abmas and the Golden Eagles play, Houston will continue to try and slow down the pace as much as possible.

I feel good about the under here with any number 145 or better.

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