DeJon Jarreau’s Injury: How Guard’s Status Impacts Houston’s Betting Odds
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston Cougars standout DeJon Jarreau.
One of the biggest questions heading into the Sweet 16 and beyond is the health of Houston Cougars guard DeJon Jarreau.
The senior standout is dealing with a hip pointer, which he played through in the comeback win over Rutgers. Jarreau does a little bit of everything for the No.2 Cougars. He’s averaging 10 points, five rebounds and four assists per game for a team with national championship aspirations.
Head coach Kelvin Sampson told Yahoo Sports he expects Jarreau to play, but that the guard isn’t practicing at the moment. Instead, he’s resting with the hopes of being as healthy as possible for the game.
“It’s just a matter of how close to being adequate he is going to be,” Sampson said.
That’s an important question for bettors to monitor ahead of Saturday’s game against Syracuse.
The Cougars are listed as 6-point favorites at PointsBet as of Thursday afternoon.
Two of our college basketball experts weighed in on Jarreau’s status and what it means for their respective betting cards:
Houston needs a healthy Jarreau at point guard, and he should benefit from almost a week off before the Cougars Sweet 16 matchup with Syracuse. That will allow him to get much needed rest and treatment for his hip.
That said, it’s still a hip pointer, which usually takes one to three weeks to heal, so we don’t know if he will be 100 percent by game time. Although it’s a good sign he was at least able to battle through the pain when Houston closed it out with a late run against Rutgers, I’m personally downgrading Houston a half-point for the injury risk since the drop-off to a much younger PG is significant.
The Jarreau injury is critical to a Houston team that is top heavy in player minutes. Quentin Grimes (32.6 MPG), Marcus Sasser (31.3 MPG), Justin Gorham (27.6 MPG) and Jarreau (27.6 MPG) are the only players who average more than 27 minutes per game.
The remaining players all average less than nine minutes per game, and cannot provide the consistent all-around play of the versatile Jarreau.
He brings the possibility of a triple-double each night, as illustrated by his 15-10-10 (points-rebounds-assists) performance against Tulane in the opening round of the AAC Tournament. His perimeter defense is critical against the hot three-point shooting of Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim, who is shooting 55.8% (24 of 43) from deep over the past four games.
The key weakness of the Syracuse zone is rebounding, and Jarreau’s 5.3 per game (third best on the team) is also critical for second-chance points when it comes to a limited Houston offense.