Saint Mary's vs. Houston odds, picks and predictions
The Saint Mary's Gaels (6-2) and the No. 1 Houston Cougars (7-0) meet Saturday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2). Below, we analyze Tipico Sportsbook's lines around the Saint Mary's vs. Houstonodds, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
Rankings courtesy of the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll.
The Gaels opened the season with 6 consecutive wins, including nice victories over Vermont and Vanderbilt. However, SMC has dropped a pair of games against Washington and New Mexico, entering on an 0-2 SU/ATS skid.
The top-ranked Cougars struggled last Saturday in a 49-44 win at home against Kent State, but in its first game as the top-ranked team, Houston pounded Norfolk State of the MEAC by a 100-52 count, covering a 26.5-point spread as the Over hit. It was just the 2nd Over of the season for UH.
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Saint Mary's vs. Houston odds
Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:51 a.m. ET.
- Moneyline (ML) : Off the board
- Against the spread (ATS) : Saint Mary's +10.5 (-110) | Houston -10.5 (-110)
- Over/Under (O/U) : 118.5 (O: -115 | U: -105)
Saint Mary's vs. Houston picks and predictions
Houston 66, Saint Mary's 51
There was no money line available at the time of publishing.
HOUSTON -10.5 (-110) is a strong play to cash. The Gaels know what it takes to drop the top-ranked team, winning 2 of the past 7 outright as an underdog against a No. 1 team. Both of those wins were against Gonzaga, including once last February.
However, it isn't happening here, as Houston's defense will wreak havoc on Saint Mary's. The Cougars rank No. 1 in the nation with just 48.0 points allowed per game, while also limiting the opposition to 30.0% from the field and 18.5% from behind the 3-point line, both also the top marks in the country.
UNDER 118.5 (-105) is worth a look, but only play a half-unit.
The Cougars dropped triple digits last time out against Norfolk State, but Houston won't be able to get out and run against a St. Mary's team which allows just 57.5 PPG, 19th in the country.
Houston also plays shutdown defense, and we will see a defensive slog early before the Cougars pull away in the second half.
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