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Cincinnati vs. Houston Expert Pick and Prediction – February 27, 2024

Cincinnati vs. Houston Expert Pick and Prediction – February 27, 2024 

CINCINNATI VS. HOUSTON EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – February 27, 2024 — Last chance, thy name is Cincinnati. The Bearcats are the proverbial bubble team that’s done just enough to be in the conversation but not enough to get into the field. But that’s the good thing about being in the Big 12: you’re always going to have opportunities to rescue yourself until March.

Well, March is almost here, and the Bearcats are down to their final chance. They’ve come close several times, losing by three at Baylor, five at Kansas, five at Xavier, four to Oklahoma at home and one to Texas at home. They also lost by five at home to Houston, who they now get to try to beat on the Cougars’ home floor.

Related: BYU vs. Kansas Expert Pick and Prediction

And, well…good luck with that. Thirteen teams have visited the Fertitta Center this season, and Iowa State’s the only one that kept the final margin to single digits. The Cougars have mostly won by embarrassing margins at home, and it’s rare for a team to last longer than 25 minutes against Houston.

Cincinnati hasn’t found the Fertitta Center any more welcoming than any other Big 12 visitors. The Bearcats are used to coming to Houston, as the teams used to be American Athletic Conference rivals, but that only means that the Cougars have won nine of 10 from Cincinnati and six straight in Houston. Cincinnati hasn’t won in the Space City since 2017, the final year before Houston built the Fertitta Center.

The Odds 







(16-11 SU, 13-14 ATS) 






(24-3 SU, 13-12-2 ATS) 






When: Tuesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. EST 

Where: Fertitta Center, Houston 


Public Bets: 74% on Houston 

Public Money: 83% on Houston 

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of February 26th, 2024 

Cincinnati vs. Houston In-Season Trends 

Is Cincinnati running out of gas, or just hitting the toughest part of the schedule? The Bearcats have dropped four of their past five, but they’ve also played the likes of Houston, Iowa State and TCU in that stretch.

The Bearcats have mostly covered on the road in the Big 12, only failing at West Virginia and TCU. They’ve gone to Kansas, Baylor and BYU and went 3-0 ATS, even if they only managed to win one of those straight up.

Everyone knows how good Houston’s defense is, which is why the books keep setting the total too low. Savvy bettors have played the over on the Cougars and cashed in six of seven. Of course, the lone exception was the game at Cincinnati, which went under by 3.5 points. The Bearcats have played under in seven of 10 games overall, and they’ve only topped 64 points twice in 12 meetings with Houston.

The Difference-Makers 

Jamal Shead is going to shoot the ball a lot. How successful the Cougars’ offense is depends on how accurate his shot is. Shead took 25 attempts against Cincinnati in the first meeting, and he only cashed in six of them, which helped the Bearcats stay in the game. However, Shead is a much better shooter on his home court. In his past three games on the road, Shead hasn’t shot better than 29%; in his past three home games, his lowest percentage is 54.5%.

Cincinnati needs more from its forwards on the glass. John Newman III did an admirable job last time in grabbing 10 rebounds, but leading rebounder Dan Skillings Jr. got just three as the Cougars snagged 17 offensive boards. The Bearcats have to keep Houston’s offense from extending possessions with second-chance points.

The Pick 

I think Cincinnati is starting to run out of gas. The Bearcats seem to have hit their wall with four losses in five games, and they’re facing what might be the Big 12’s toughest test. Sure, trying to beat Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse is virtually impossible, but the Jayhawks don’t asphyxiate teams the way Houston does.

The Cougars are looking to lock down their No. 1 seed, and they’re likely to do it with defense as they’ve done all year. Don’t look for Cincinnati to do much with the ball here.

Dan’s Picks 

 Houston -13.5 

 Cincinnati TTU 59.5 

FUN My Pillow


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