The #14 Houston Cougars (8-1, 0-0 away) collide in a non-conference showdown of top-15 teams when they take on the #9 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-0 home) on Saturday. The matchup between the two teams will be the fifth time they’ve met but the first since 1979.
Saturday’s tipoff is at 10 p.m. EST inside Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, AL. Alabama is a 1.5-point favorite against Houston, and the over-under total is at 146.0 points.
What to Know – Houston Cougars
Houston has been untouched since their lone loss of the season to Wisconsin back in November. The Cougars have rolles since, winning four in a row and outscoring their opponents, 91.3 to 49. Houston has blowout wins over Oregon, Butler, and Virginia this season.
Houston’s offense averages 80.8 points per game while shooting 49.6% from the field and 38.4% from the 3-point line. Defensively, the Cougars hold opponents to 53.4 points per game, 35.7% shooting from the floor, and 27.6% from three.
The Cougars’ forced 20 turnovers and shot 47.4% from the field in their 77-45 victory over Alcorn State on Monday. Marcus Sasser led Houston in scoring with 17 points, and Kyler Edwards added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Houston is 6-3 against the spread this year and 4-2 ATS in their last six on the road. The total has gone under in ten of the last 15 games against teams from the Southeastern Conference.
What to Know – Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide isn’t just a football school this year, with a star-studded lineup taking the floor for head coach Nate Oats. Alabama picked up a major win last week against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, making it known to the basketball world that they will be a top team this season.
Offensively, the Crimson Tide pour it in much like the Cougars, scoring 86.4 points per game behind 47.7% shooting from the floor and 34.7% from three. Alabama’s defense surrenders 71.0 points per game while allowing teams to shoot 41.7% from the field and 27.0% beyond the arc.
In last Saturday’s 91-82 victory over Gonzaga in Seattle, the Crimson Tide built a 51-35 first-half lead and held to hand the Bulldogs their second loss of the season. Jaden Shackelford erupted for 28 points, firing 6-of-8 from the three-point line. JD Davis came off the bench to chip in 20 for Alabama, shooting 60% from the field.
Alabama is 6-2 ATS this season with a 4-1 mark ATS over their last five games. The Crimson Tide are 1-4-1 over their previous six in games against teams from the AAC.
The Pick is In
If you can stay up for this one, you should be in a treat when these two high-flying offenses take the floor. These two teams rank in the top-10 in the KenPom, and the Cougars rank fifth, and Alabama 16th in offensive efficiency.
All signs point to a high-scoring contest, but Houston is also a solid defensive team that will present challenges for the Alabama offense. We’ll cautiously take the under here.
Betting Pick: Houston/Alabama UNDER 146