It hasn’t been the start to the Big 12 Conference season the No. 5 Houston Cougars envisioned. A pair of tough road losses have Houston 1-2 in the Big 12 college basketball standings. That leaves the Cougars in a tie for ninth place. No. 25 Texas Tech is on top of the Big 12 with a 3-0 conference record, but things are about to get a lot tougher. The Red Raiders have four straight games against ranked teams, beginning with tonight’s road game. The Texas Tech vs Houston betting odds show the Cougars are favored by 13 points, and the total is at 129.5.
Red Raiders With Sixth-Longest Winning Streak
Texas Tech has won nine straight games, which is the sixth-longest active winning streak in the country. The Red Raiders moved to 14-2 and have done so with a solid offense and a pretty good defense. Texas Tech is 8-8 against the point spread, including 3-3 ATS on the road. The Red Raiders are 9-7 in totals on the season.
Texas Tech is scoring 77.6 points per game against teams, allowing 71.4. The Red Raiders shot 35.7% from the 3-point range and 53.7% from the 2-point range. The team is one of the best foul-shooting teams in the country, at 77.9%. The Red Raiders do a good job grabbing offensive rebounds and not making turnovers. Texas Tech shoots quite a few 3-pointers and averages 23.6 attempts per game.
The college basketball scores show Texas Tech allows 41.3% shooting while holding teams to 64.8 points per game. The Red Raiders are decent defenders and do a good job of not sending the opposition to the foul line. Texas Tech is rated No. 44 in Ken Pomeroy’s defensive efficiency rankings.
Cougars Ride Defense to Top 10 Ranking
When discussing the Houston Cougars, you have to talk about the team’s defense. But the offense isn’t all that bad. Houston averages 74.8 points against teams, allowing 69.9 points. The Cougars don’t shoot the ball particularly well. But Houston is No. 3 in the country at grabbing offensive rebounds. It also keeps turnovers to a minimum. It’s the little things that add up for Houston offensively.
But the Cougars real strength is defense. Houston is No. 1 in the Kenpom defensive efficiency rankings. The Cougars are No. 1 in the nation in 2-point field percentage allowed, No. 6 in 3-point percentage, and No. 1 in block and steal percentage. The one drawback to Houston’s defense is it tends to make some fouls, allowing teams to shoot free throws.
The Cougars are a high-profile team but have still gone 8-7-1 against the spread this season. Houston is 9-0 at home this season and 6-2 against the spread. The Cougars allow 51.4 points overall and as a result, are 4-12 in totals this season. At home, the Cougars are 2-7 in totals.
What to Expect
Both teams like to play at a pretty slow pace. The Red Raiders are No. 279 in Pomeroy’s adjusted pace ratings, while the Cougars are No. 345. So, the first thing to expect is a prolonged, deliberate game.
Texas Tech can pretty much pick its poison here, as Houston is tough to score against from the inside or the outside. The Red Raiders will probably try a few more outside shots than usual, knowing they’ll get three points instead of two when they can score.
Houston will likely look to get the ball inside, which is where the bulk of its points come from. The Cougars score 51.8% of their points from 2-point range, with some coming from layups after steals. Houston isn’t all that bad shooting 3-pointers, hitting 34.4%, but the team prefers to get the ball inside.
Who to Bet On?
The Texas Tech vs Houston betting odds of Cougars -13 are a bit on the high side. But Houston is one of those NCAA teams that can completely shut down the opposition. If the Cougars get out to a big lead, it would force the Red Raiders to change their style a little bit. That would work in Houston’s favor and could lead to a more significant margin at the end of the game.
The Texas Tech vs Houston betting line of 129.5 on the total is definitely on the low side. But you really can’t post a total higher than that, given Houston’s defense. The Red Raiders aren’t a bad defense team, either, so the total makes sense. But seeing another decent defense team could spark Houston’s defense, so the best bet in this one is to play the under 129.5.