Sunday’s college basketball odds board delivers Gonzaga-Kentucky among other highly-anticipated matchups. Let’s dissect my college basketball best bets for one of them — Houston at Oregon. Join our Discord betting channel (under the #roles server) and receive an instant notification from Discord for whenever I make a bet.
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Houston at Oregon: Spread, Moneyline, Total
Only one of these teams lies in my college basketball power rankings, so where is there value? Subscribe to the Outside Shots podcast, as Scott Phillips and I will break down all of the upcoming holiday tournaments as well.
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Which Team Commands The Paint?
The Cougars’ stifling defense blitzed the Ducks on a neutral court last season. They held Dana Altman’s team to just 0.73 PPP while finishing +8 in the rebounding department. Both programs enter the rematch with some roster turnover, though.
For starters, Oregon boasts a lengthier unit than in 2021-22 — highlighted by the addition of 7-foot frosh Kel’el Ware. Even with Houston reeling in its own five-star big in Jerace Walker, Kelvin Sampson’s interior defense is more vulnerable this time around. In fact, it post-up defense ranks No. 221 in ShotQuality PPP.
Moreover, fellow Ducks big man N’Faly Dante is expected to suit up despite dealing with a hip injury. Ware boasts the superior Offensive Rating (per KenPom) between the two of them. However, Dante’s experience will be valuable against the Cougars’ pressure-driven defense.
Altman’s crew has struggled with minimizing mistakes in general (18.8% turnover rate), which is a glaring concern in this matchup.
Cougars’ 3-Point Shooting Regression
Houston owns a collective 29.7% clip from distance, but its small sample size is worth considering. Senior guard Marcus Sasser contributes heavily towards this category, and his shooting slump shouldn’t overshadow the fact that he’s a career 35.7% marksman.
Altman is also known for his match-up zone defense. That’s led to a bottom-40 ranking in regards to open 3-point looks (via ShotQuality). Therefore, Sasser & Co. should undergo positive variance from behind the arc.
If Houston’s half-court offense is efficient enough, Oregon won’t compile nearly as many transition opportunities. Unlike the Cougars, the Ducks’ offense is at its best with an uptempo style of play.
Related: 2023 March Madness Futures Odds
College Basketball Best Bets Conclusion
Given how the betting market has tended to inflate Houston’s spreads thus far, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happens here. For reference, Sampson’s squad opened as a 6.5-point road favorite.
Continue to monitor this page and our aforementioned Discord channel to see if I add anything here to my college basketball best bets.
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