March Madness Round 1: Longwood vs Houston Odds & Score

Lancers Draw Tough Task of Playing Houston

Houston vs Longwood Final Score

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Longwood vs Houston Preview Analysis

The Longwood Lancers (21-13) have the unenviable task of facing the Houston Cougars (30-4) in a South Region NCAA Tournament game on Friday. Longwood is a No. 16 seed after winning the Big South Conference Tournament. The Lancers were just 6-10 in conference play, but won some NCAA basketball games when it counted.

The Cougars drew a No. 1 seed despite losing in the Big 12 Conference Tournament in ugly fashion. Houston lost to Iowa State 69-41 in a game that was uglier than it sounds. The Longwood vs Houston odds see the Cougars favored by 24.5 points and the total on the game is sitting at 128.

Lancers logo Lancers vs Cougars Cougars logo

Day/Time:
Location: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Streaming: TNT

Longwood Pulls Off Upsets to Make Big Dance

The Longwood Lancers are pretty much an average basketball team that got hot at the right time. You have to give them credit for that. Longwood is ranked No. 157 in the Ken Pom rankings.

That makes it the fifth-lowest-rated team in the tournament, but they are on the college basketball bracket, which is more than most teams can say. The Lancers are 16-15 against the spread and 17-14 in totals. Longwood is 5-4 ATS as an underdog on the year.

The Lancers aren’t an excellent shooting team. Longwood ranks No. 240 in effective field goal percent. The Lancers are No. 254 in 2-point shooting and No. 156 in 3-pointers, making 34.2%. Longwood doesn’t take that many 3-point attempts, however, and scores 55.4% of its points from 2-point range.

The team does well getting to the foul line and grabbing offensive rebounds. Longwood also makes too many turnovers, which isn’t a good thing going up against Houston.

The Longwood Lancers are a little better on defense, thanks to forcing turnovers and keeping the opposition from getting offensive rebounds. Longwood allows a high percentage of shots to drop, ranking No. 229 in effective field goal defense. Teams are shooting 34.6% on 3-pointers and 50.9% on 2-pointers.

Cougars Look to Bounce Back

Houston enters the game of an embarrassing loss to Iowa State and may look to take it out on Longwood. The Cougars are 16-15-3 ATS this NCAAB season and 14-20 in totals. Houston is more than capable of blowing teams out.

Houston played eight teams ranked No. 150 or lower by the KenPom ratings and won all eight by at least 30 points.

The Cougars don’t shoot the ball particularly well, but are ranked No. 17 nationally in the KenPom efficiency ratings. This is due to Houston not making turnovers and getting offensive rebounds.

From the field, Houston is just No. 229 in effective field goal percentage. The Cougars are a better 3-point shooting team, making 34.7% from long range.

Houston is one of the top three defensive NCAAB teams in the country. The Cougars allow just 30% on 3-pointers and 43.4% on 2-pointers. Houston is No. 3 in the nation at forcing turnovers and second in blocked shots. The Cougars do send teams to the foul line a little more than you’d like and allow some offensive rebounds.

What to Expect

Longwood doesn’t do anything special regarding pace. The Lancers are average in that area, while Houston likes to slow it down.

That gives the Houston defense a chance to get set and decide to pressure the ball. Longwood could have trouble against Houston’s pressure and may slow it down a bit either by choice or because it’s forced to.

Who to Bet On?

There’s no question the Longwood vs Houston odds are high, but it’s entirely deserved here. If the Cougars are focused and play hard, they shouldn’t have any trouble turning this one into a rout. That’s always easier said than done, especially when you’re dealing with young men around 20 years old.

A blowout victory isn’t going to make up for the Iowa State defeat. People expect the final March Madness standings to show Longwood with an 0-1 record and a quick trip back home.

The Longwood vs Houston odds on the total are definitely low, and the number makes sense. The Lancers could end up with 50 points in the game. It’s going to be a question of how much Houston scores.

The Cougars could get some turnovers that translate to easy baskets and put up more points than usual. The total is a little unpredictable due to that.

As far as the side goes, you never like to be laying 24 points in an NCAA Tournament game, but it’s hard to ignore Houston’s blowout wins over weaker opponents.

There is really no reason why Houston doesn’t roll past Longwood and cover the NCAAB spread. While that may not happen, it is the way to bet, so take Houston -24 in this game.

For NCAAB betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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