SMU vs. Houston Prediction: Should Houston Be on Upset Alert?

SMU vs. Houston predictions and pick for Wednesday's college basketball matchup in the AAC. Handicapper LightningLocks analyzes this showdown between the Southern Methodist Mustangs vs. Houston Cougars.
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SMU vs. Houston Prediction: Should Houston Be on Upset Alert?

Middle of the week, what else are you going to do but watch some Conference USA basketball on ESPN2. We have the two best teams in the conference facing off tonight as Houston goes to SMU and visits the Mustangs. We had good luck in Texas yesterday so let's stay there and see why we feel there may be an upset brewing tonight in Dallas. 

SMU vs. Houston Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Wednesday, February 9

Game Time: 7:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN2

Click Here for SMU vs Houston Odds

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SMU vs. Houston Line Movement

SMU vs. Houston Prediction

Houston is hot. We all know they won 11 in a row. They destroyed Cincinnati on the road, as that wasn't even a game. Even though SMU is 2nd, Houston has Memphis on deck, and that is a bigger game for recruiting purposes, so they will probably not look ahead, but it's on their minds because that is the school everyone wants to beat in this conference. Marcus Sasser may be the star and leader of this team, but this team is built to play like a team with five guys in double figures in this guard-oriented lineup with no center. This team has two losses, a controversial one at Alabama and a neutral court loss at Wisconsin. Both of those teams are built just like Houston, and guess who else is? That's right, SMU plays the guard lineup with no big man, and clearly, it's been successful as they are 16-5.

Since Kelvin Sampson came to Houston, this team has been built on defense as they are #1 in the country, holding opponents to 36% and top-five holding them to under 57 points a game. This game will be close, and you saw what happened last night with Arkansas- Auburn. Houston has one problem, and it's significant: they can't hit free throws as they are 317th in the country at 66.4% and have had games of 50% or less this year. SMU is no slouch on defense either as they are 30th and give up less than 40%, so the free throws will come into play with both teams playing excellent defense. SMU shoots almost 9 % better, and you miss a 1 and 1 that's points off the board, and Moody Coliseum wants to be in a good mood when this game is over as it will be rocking. 

As we mentioned, SMU is no slouch on defense as their last five games have gone under the total. But, the Mustangs can't win games when they shoot under 37% and hit 25% of their 3's (5-20). This game is at home, and after that Wichita game, the coach reminded his team that everyone is bringing their A-game because they have established themselves as a top team in the conference, and they have to bring their A-game as well. SMU usually brings their A-game at home as they are 11-0 this year and 13 in a row going back to last year. You would think with Memphis, Houston, etc. that one of them would have the leading scorer, but actually, SMU has the conference's leading scorer in Kendric Davis (19.5 a game), and the team leads the conference in 3's, second in 3 point % and first in scoring with over 75 a game. They are coming off a horrendous game scoring 57 and losing by double digits to a mid-level squad in Wichita, while Houston is coming off a road beat down against a good but overrated Cincinnati squad. They are undefeated at home (11-0) with an excellent 16-5 overall record, but they are not in the tournament. They need a quad one win, which is on national television. So, SMU has to do what they have done all year:

  • Hit the 3-pointers.
  • Play defense
  • Let Davis show his talents because 1-7 and 8 points last game will get you blown out today. 

With their star off his worst game of the year, with a home winning streak going back to last year, because their best wins are at Memphis and against Dayton, they need this game, or they are going to the NIT. This game makes a 17-5 record legit if they win, and we are buying low and selling high from the last games these two played. We trust Davis to hit more than one shot tonight, the whole team to hit more 3's, and we hope Houston misses a few more free throws than usual. Can we storm the court in Dallas and make everyone in Moody be in an excellent mood? We think so! Take the SMU Mustangs +7.5 at home tonight, and let's all leave Moody in a good moody and with some extra dough. We are riding the Mustangs +7.5 available at BetMGM as we finish this article up. 

SMU vs. Houston Pick

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