March Madness Second Round Picks
Houston is ranked 6th on offense and 12th on defense, per KenPom. Rutgers is ranked 76th on offense and 16th on defense. Houston blew out 15th seed Cleveland State in their first round matchup. Rutgers played a hard fought game against 7th seed Clemson in round 1 and narrowly escaped with a victory. All this extra energy used by Rutgers may be a big issue because Houston is arguably the best defensive team in the country. Houston ranks 9th defending the 3, 4th defending the 2, and 1st in Defense Effective FG %. Offensively, Rutgers ranks 297th from 3, 84th from 2, and 170th in Offense Effective FG %. Rutgers statistically should have a big problem scoring the basketball. Houston also can score. The Cougars rank 97th in 3 point shooting % and 140th in 2 point shooting %. Houston also holds a major advantage on the glass. The Cougars rank 2nd in Offense Rebounding % while Rutgers ranks 223rd in Defense Rebounding %. This will lead to plenty of 2nd chance opportunities for Houston. Another big advantage for Houston is Free Throw shooting. The Cougars rank 66th in FT shooting % while Rutgers ranks 332nd from the charity stripe.
I expect a Houston beat down in this game. There is nothing Rutgers does that Houston doesn’t do better. Houston is a deep team that defends and can score 1 thru 5. Rutgers will come in a little fatigued after their tough first round battle and won’t be able to do enough. Houston -8.5 is the play. Best of luck!
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NCAAB Expert Picks
Houston -8 @ -105 (Click To Bet)