Houston vs Utah Odds, Pick | College Basketball Betting Guide (Friday, Nov. 17)
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamal Shead (Houston)
Houston vs Utah Odds
Read below for Houston vs Utah odds and a pick, including a college basketball betting guide for Friday, Nov. 17.
Utah is massive. With 7-footer Branden Carlson and 7-foot-1 Lawson Lovering anchoring the interior, the Utes rank fourth nationally in near-shot field goal shooting allowed (51.3%) and seventh nationally in defensive rebounding rate.
Utah is the biggest team in the nation by average height (79.5 inches). It’s the prototypical Craig Smith defense.
Obviously, that’s huge against a Kelvin Sampson-led Cougars team that lives and dies by crashing the boards. For what it’s worth, Houston is 322nd in average height (76 inches). The Cougars are reasonably lengthy on the wing, but they're small on the interior and the backcourt.
The key to beating Utah is to expose its less-than-stellar backcourt in ball-screen sets, forcing Carlsen to defend out in space.
Can Houston do that?
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I’m not sure. Jamal Shead and LJ Cryer are elite guards, but they’re also working on replacing Marcus Sasser, Jarace Walker and Tramon Mark.
Through four games, Houston’s new-look backcourt grades out in the 24th percentile of D-I teams in pick-and-roll PPP (.63). I highly doubt that’s sustainable, but it’s concerning nonetheless.
But can Utah score?
Highly doubtful. Utah wants to post up, and Sampson-led teams will never let you do that. Also, the Cougars will pressure ball-handlers, and I expect that will end up poorly for the Utes' guards.
Sharp money has hit the Under, and I agree with the market.
I think Utah’s interior and ball-screen defense will hang tough, but Houston’s defense will overwhelm Utah. The number has dropped too low, but I’m willing to take a stab at the Under 133.5 (-110) still available at Caesars.
For what it’s worth, Houston is 4-0 to the Under this season, while Utah’s last two games stayed well Under.
Pick: Under 133.5
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