The UAB Blazers won the Conference USA in a chaotic fashion and are now taking on the Houston Cougars in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
When I say chaotic, I mean it. UAB defeated Florida Atlantic in its first game, 80-66, but then needed three overtimes and a lot of luck to beat Middle Tennessee in the semifinals. Ultimately, UAB scored 82 points against Louisiana Tech in the final and ended up winning the conference.
On the other hand, Houston won the AAC after knocking off a surging Memphis team. Houston’s dominated all season long without two key players in Tramon Mark and Marcus Sasser for most of the year. Both got injured and have been sitting out the rest of the season.
Houston vs UAB Odds
Houston vs Marquette CBB gameday odds are provided by BetRivers and current as of 1 p.m. ET on Monday, March 14.
- Moneyline: Houston (-400) vs UAB (+310)
- Spread: Houston -8.5 (-110) vs UAB +8.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 135.5 (-110) / Under 135.5 (-110)
- Implied Score: Houston 72, UAB 63
Basketball Betting Play of the Day
Slam home your basketball bets with BetMGM’s welcome offer: New BetMGM Sportsbook customers can bet $10 to win $200 in free bets.
Make a $10 moneyline bet on any game. If either team makes a three-point basket, you’ll win!
🏀 NBA Bet $10, Win $200: .
Read Anthony Cervino’s hands-on BetMGM Sportsbook review to learn more.
🤔 Want a different BetMGM welcome offer? New users can instead get up to $1,000 risk-free with code GAMEDAY. 👇
Houston vs UAB Prediction
The Houston Cougars have been one of the more complete teams in the nation this year. Despite two key players hitting the injured list, Houston is still a championship contender with elite offense and defense this season. Houston is holding opponents to a 43.5% effective field goal percentage while limiting teams to 29% from deep and 43.5% from inside the arc.
While fouling can get high, Houston is still able to force 21.7% turnovers and continues to block shots at a rapid rate while earning steals 12.5% of the time.
UAB, on the other hand, shoots 38.4% from downtown and earns 33.4% offensive rebounds. However, Houston is not the same caliber as the Conference USA.
It’s going to be much harder for UAB to grab offensive rebounds. Plus, UAB also limits turnovers, and that’s going to be hard against a very aggressive Houston defense.
On the offensive end, Houston is dominating the glass, earning 37.8% of offensive rebounds. Inside, the Cougars are shooting 55.1% and also limit turnovers to 17.1%. UAB is also good at earning takeaways but Houston will likely do a good job of limiting those turnovers.
All in all, UAB is a pretty solid matchup for Houston and could give them a run for their money. However, Houston will likely limit UAB from earning a high number of offensive rebounds and should also make it more difficult for UAB from three.
Houston vs UAB Score Pick
Houston 65, UAB 57
Houston is an elite defense this season and as long as Houston can run UAB off the line or force some bad shots from deep, the Cougars should be able to escape away with this victory.
- Print your 2022 March Madness bracket.
The Blazers have a higher percentage from three but don’t shoot the three-point shot at a high pace. Instead, the Blazers like to score inside where Houston is holding teams to 43.5% on the season.
That’s just not going to work.
Houston vs UAB Best Bets
UAB +8.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
In such a low-scoring game, UAB has the potential to keep this game close and at least cover the spread. The Blazers aren’t an elite defense like Houston but have the ability to get stops.
It’s going to be hard to get those stops and limit second chances but the Blazers have been consistent in the Conference USA, which does have some elite talent inside the post. I’ll take my chances with UAB here.
Under 135.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
UAB might’ve scored 82 points to win the Conference USA, but the Blazers won’t be anywhere close to that total against Houston. Again, the Cougars have allowed opponents to shoot just 29% from deep and 43.5% from inside the arc.
Then, on the offensive end, after getting stops, Houston plays in the half-court offensively and uses 18.8 seconds per possession. When Houston defends the three, UAB is going to have to toughen up inside and while they’ll earn some fouls, it’s going to be hard to sustain consistent scoring.