UCF vs. Houston Prediction: Can Houston Rebound from Two Straight Losses?

UCF vs. Houston prediction and pick for Thursday's college basketball showdown between the two teams. Handicapper Jason Radowitz breaks down his pick for this one and gives us a look at what we can expect.
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UCF vs. Houston Prediction: Can Houston Rebound from Two Straight Losses?

The Houston Cougars were having a year to remember just a week ago. Now the Cougars have lost two straight and are currently 20-4 in the regular season and 9-2 in conference play. There's no doubt that Houston is the best team in the American Athletic Conference, however, the Cougars have lost their way a little bit. Now they'll welcome the UCF Knights to town, looking to get back on track.

Here are our picks and predictions for the AAC matchup between the Central Florida Knights and the Houston Cougars.

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

Date: Thursday, February 17

Game Time: 9:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: ESPN2

Click Here for UCF vs. Houston odds

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UCF vs. Houston Injury Report

Central Florida

Questionable: F Jamille Reynolds (Undisclosed)

Houston

Out: G Tramon Mark (Shoulder), G Marcus Sasser (Toe)

UCF vs. Houston Betting Line Movement

UCF vs. Houston Prediction

Despite losing Tramon Mark and Marcus Sasser for the season, the Houston Cougars have been one of the most complete, elite teams in the country. Houston is currently ranked in the top 20 in both offensive and defensive efficiency via KenPom. The Cougars are shooting a 54 percent effective field goal percentage while knocking down 35 percent from deep and 54.9 percent from inside the arc. Houston also limits turnovers to 17.1 percent and dominates the glass, earning 37.6 percent offensive rebounds. On the other hand, UCF is allowing teams to earn 30.3 percent offensive rebounds and while the Knights have defended the three well, inside, it's been a different story. The Knights are allowing teams to shoot 30.6 percent from three but 50.6 percent from inside the arc. On the offensive end, UCF is shooting 35 percent from downtown but just 49.4 percent from two. The Knights will earn some offensive rebounds, but turnovers are high at 20.1 percent. Finding ways to beat that Houston defense won't be easy. Houston has allowed an effective field goal percentage of 43.3 percent while earning 22.9 percent turnovers on the season. Opponents are literally shooting just 29.4 percent from three and 42.7 percent from inside the arc. Therefore, I like Houston to get back on track. The Cougars should be able to work the offensive glass at a high level and earn plenty of turnovers on the defensive end. At home, I've got Houston covering the massive spread.

UCF Knights vs. Houston Cougars Pick

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Jason grew up an avid sports fan. His passion for sports writing grew in high school and he developed a blog that was strictly for New York Sports. From his work, you will quickly realize that he loves looking at games from an analytical and numbers perspective and hopes to provide you with that same perspective in his articles.

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