Houston vs Baylor Betting Predictions NCAA Tournament

Baylor vs Houston Final Four
Houston (2) vs Baylor (1), betting predictions, NCAA Basketball

A classic Final 4 matchup as the unstoppable force, the Baylor offense, meets the immovable object, the Houston defense. I like Baylor to win this one and ATS -5 at 888sports.

Houston vs Baylor Betting Odds

Baylor Head Coach Bryce Drew’s Bears are playing with an intensity, physicality and a will to win that has his team dominating opponents. Baylor is averaging a 14.25 point margin of victory in its 4 NCAA tournament games and the Bears show no signs of slowing down. When senior guard Davion Mitchell, a 6’2” junior, has the ball it makes me think of a combination between Dwayne Wade and the Tasmanian Devil, the way he blows past the usually overmatched defense is a blast to watch.

As is the rest of the Bears’ team. Baylor is absolutely hounding teams defensively averaging 18.25 turnovers in the NCAAs – and they are doing it against team’s like Wisconsin and Villanova, teams who value the basketball and don’t turn it over much. By now we know the Bears stars Butler, Teague and the aforementioned Mitchell, together they average over 46 ppg. The Bears are looking for their 2nd ever trip to the NCAA Final 4, they were the runner-up in 1948 to Kentucky. For Baylor though, it all seems to come down to one simple thing – the 3 pointer. Baylor leads the nation in 3 point percentage at an astounding 41.1% and if you are here looking for NCAA march madness odds from NJ sportsbooks, this is a big key. In each of the Bears 2 losses this season, in Big 12 conference play to Kansas and when Baylor lost to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tournament semi-finals, the Bears were 6 for 26 and 6 for 28 from 3 point range – bad. Quite simply, if Baylor can get open 3s and hit them, they win. Which brings us to the Bears’ final 4 opponent, the Houston Cougars.

Phi Slama Jama was the Cougars unofficial nickname when they had Akeem Olajuwon (before he changed his name to Hakeem) back in the 1983 and 1984 NCAAs. Having Houston back in the Final 4 makes the NCAA tourney all the more exciting. Olajuwon and the Cougars never won it all though, losing in the ‘83 and ‘84 Championship games to Jordan’s Tar Heels and Ewing’s Hoyas respectively, bad luck I guess.

Enough with nostalgia, this Cougars team is all about defense. Houston likely has the best ‘d’ in this Final 4 and head coach Kelvin Sampson’s version of the pack-line defense has NCAA tourney opponents averaging just 55.75 ppg! That brings us to the question and the reason you are here, for march madness betting tips, can Houston’s defense keep the Bears from shooting a good 3 point percentage (which happened in both of Baylor’s losses). When pac-line defense team’s (Houston) lose, it is frequently because of one of two things: the opponent’s great athleticism or great outside shooting. Baylor has both in spades and so I like the 888moneyline -113 bet for Baylor as the Bears will be, bar far, the best opponent Houston has played this season. I also like the 888sports -5 bet. Look for Baylor to advance to the Championship game with room to spare against Houston.

Houston Baylor
888Sport
+180 -230
Sugar House
+185 -225
FanDuel
+180 -215

My Prediction

My prediction: Baylor wins and ZTS -5. The Bears advance to the Monday Final.

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Mac hails from Kenosha, WI, and at age 11 was hooked into the universe of sports betting by correcting the local newspapers' weekly football pool. In the wild, Mac can be found playing catch with his kid, golfing, or watching sports like baseball, the PGA Tour, the NBA, MMA, or any other sport (most likely with a beer in hand). While Mac is officially a Green Bay Packers stockholder, he takes no responsibility for the Packer's recent playoff failures. A copywriter for 9 years, Mac is thrilled to provide his predictions and insights for usalegalbetting.com. Once asked if he could choose to have a beer with any athlete in history, living or dead he answered, "I'd definitely choose someone living." You can follow his burgeoning Twitter feed TeddyMacSports @time_tmac

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