NCAAB Odds, Pick for Houston vs Texas: Low-Scoring Game?

NCAAB Odds, Pick for Houston vs Texas: Low-Scoring Game? article feature image

PROVO, UT – JANUARY 23 : J’Wan Roberts #13 of the Houston Cougars saves a ball from going out of bounds during the first half against the Brigham Young Cougars at the Marriott Center on January 23, 2024 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Houston vs Texas Odds

Monday, Jan. 29
9 p.m. ET
Houston Odds
-110o / -110u
Texas Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

The Houston Cougars have quickly forgotten about their 2-game skid earlier in the month. The Coogs have won four straight games, all thanks to their suffocating defense. The Coogs are heading to Austin, Texas for their matchup against the Longhorns on Monday evening. Both teams have a quick turnaround after playing on Saturday.

Rodney Terry's Longhorns are in trouble. Their upcoming schedule correlates to a losing streak they do not recover from. The Horns have proven to be impressive on the defense side of the ball at times, so it will be interesting to see if the Coogs can crack the code.

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Houston Cougars

Kelvin Sampson's team is the standard of defense throughout the country. The Cougars are the No.1 defensive efficiency team in the nation and are a sparkling top-10 in the following defensive categories:


The Longhorns are a good offensive team with a lot of talent, but it is foolish to think they sustain success throughout the matchup. The Coogs have a championship-esque defense, it is the other side of the ball that needs to get figured out.

Not to say the Coogs are not a good offensive team; they are 14th in adjusted offensive efficiency. There are a few areas that are worthy of concern in pertains to the matchup.

The Coogs struggle to score inside the arc, which is the strong suit of the Horns defense. They are also outside of the Top 150 in FG% and are one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the nation.

Fortunately enough, they're a decent 3-point shooting team and can expose the Horns out on the perimeter. They do a tremendous job of protecting the ball and earning second-scoring chances.

The clock should be running early and often. Do not expect the Coogs defense to crumble, even on the road.

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Texas Longhorns

It is a typical spot for the Horns to bounce back in front of their home crowd, but I do not buy it. I like the makeup of the Horns offense, but the Cougars are too strong on the defensive front.

The Horns enter the matchup 26th in adjusted offensive efficiency, but I do not have confidence in them to crack the code of the Coogs defense. Not only do the Coogs pass the eye test, but their metrics suggest the Horns are in for a frustrating night offensively.

Terry's team runs a slow tempo, mimicking the Cougars. They are a decent team on the offensive glass but do not get to the foul line often.

The Cougars are a mediocre defensive rebounding team and allow frequent trips to the foul line. The Horns path to covering the number relies on their ability to get to the line more often.

Defensively they have a strong enough unit to contain the struggling Cougars. It is crucial to contain the Cougars from the outside, or they will get destroyed on their floor.

Guards Max Admas and Tyrese Hunter did not have a big impact at BYU on Saturday. Their talent can crack any matchup, but the Cougars are on a different playing field as opposed to every other opponent.

Houston vs. Texas

Betting Pick & Prediction

I can make a case for backing both teams, but the safest play is to take the under. Both offenses run a slow tempo, and do a great job of offensive rebounding.

By earning second-scoring chances, they will kick the ball back out and reset in the half-court. Time is not of the essence for either team.

I wanted to take the Horns badly, as it is a great spot to bounce back on their home floor. But, I do not trust their offense to have success.

The Horns will hold their own on the defensive end of the floor, as the Cougars continue to be mediocre offensively. It has all of the makings of a slow-paced rock fight.

There is always a possibility that the Coogs and Horns shoot the lights out from deep, as they have the talent to do so. But, the chances of that happening are unlikely.

Pick: Under 130.5 (Play to 129)

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Nick Sterling
Jun 25, 2024 UTC