Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#713 Houston 137.5 vs.
#714 Wichita State -4
Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 4:00pm EST
Written by David Hess

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#713 University of Houston
#714 Wichita State
14-4
15-2
10-7
9-7
10-7
10-6
77
76
64
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Saturday afternoon on the college hardwood and a pair for teams from the Merican Athletic Conference will square off as the Houston Cougars grapple with the Wichita State Shockers at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas. These teams met once last year and the Cougars won that game at home by a score of 79-70. Houston enters this game at 13-4 on the year while the Shockers are 15-2. Both teams are 3-1 in league play.

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Cougars Top Ponies To Get Back On Track

The Houston Cougars have had a fine season so far as they enter this game at 13-4 overall, including 3-1 in league play. Houston recently had a six-game win streak going but that came to an end in a 63-61 loss at Tulsa. the Cougs were then able to bounce back with a 71-62 win over SMU at home on Wednesday night. The Offense was rolling as Houston had scored 75 points or more in five of the six games during their win streak but they have now put up just 66 ppg in their last two games. Getting their offense going in this one will not be all that easy as the Shockers have played very good defense so far. Houston enters this game ranked 29th in the nation by KenPom and they have faced the 75th rated schedule.

Back to the victory over the Ponies. Houston shot just 43% from the field overall, including 32% from long range (6/19), but they did knock down 17 of their 22 free throw attempts. Leading the attack was Fabian White Jr., who had 17 points and 10 boards while Caleb Mills had 15 points and Nate Hinton had 14. the defense stepped up in a big way as the Mustangs shot just 40% from the field overall, including 24% (6/25) from beyond the arc. the Cougs were aided by the fact that SMU was just six of 13 from the charity stripe.

Houston enters this game ranked 81st in the nation in scoring at 75.9 ppg, 175th in field goal percentage at 43.8%, 126th in three-point shooting at 34.4% and 148th in free-throw shooting at 71.1%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 87th in points allowed at 65.5 ppg, 37th in defensive FG% at 38.8% and 162nd in three-point defense at 32.5%.

The Shockers Are Off To An Impressive Start

Prior to last year, the Shockers had been ranked at one point or another in the top 25 for seven years in a row. Last year, they went just 22-15 overall and were never ranked in the Top 25. The Shockers are back on track as they enter this game at 15-2 overall, including 3-1 in league play. They come in ranked 16th in the nation in the AP Poll while KenPom has them at 36th. Wichita State has faced the 147th ranked slate of games in the nation. The Shockers enter this contest off a bad 65-53 loss to the Temple Owls on the road and that loss broke a nine-game winning streak that State was on. The offense just wasn't there against the Owls and after averaging 78.4 ppg during their winning streak.

Their offense could have a tough time getting back on track as the Cougars have played solid defense this year. Wichita State shot a pathetic 30% from the floor against the Owls and they were just three of 21 from beyond the arc. Those numbers will not get it done at any level. Leading their attack was Jaime Echenique, who had 20 points and 13 boards while Jamarius Burton had 16. The defense played well as they held the Owls to 46% shooting overall, including just 25% (3/12) shooting from long range. This has been a very solid defensive team overall this year but the Cougars are a solid offensive team.

The Shockers enter this game ranked 77th in the nation in scoring at 76.1 ppg, 288th in field goal percentage at 41.5%, 183rd in three-point shooting at 33.2% and 187th in free-throw shooting at 69.8%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 66th in points allowed at 63.9 ppg, 31st in defensive FG% at 38.6% and 59th in three-point defense at 30.0%.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will go with the Shickers in this game. The Cougars have played a much tougher schedule but the Shockers have been a strong team in the early going and they are a perfect 12-0 here at home. The Shockers have a strong defense that has allowed just 62.8 ppg here at home while the Cougars have allowed 68.3 ppg on the road. Wichita State also has an edge on offense as they have averaged 78.3 ppg while Houston has put up 75.5 ppg on the road. These teams are pretty evenly matched overall but at home, the shockers have the offensive and defensives edges and they will use those edges to win this one by at least five points.

Prediction: Wichita State -3

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I will go with the under in this huge league game. both teams have been solid on offense this year but the defenses have been no slouch either. The Cougars enter this game having allowed just 65.5 ppg in league play and 68.3 ppg on the road. The Shockers have allowed just 62.8 ppg at home and 63.9 ppg overall. They have allowed 71.8 ppg in league play but this is a huge game for both teams and I fully expect their defense to bring it in this one. The Under is 5-0 in Houston's last five Saturday games and that seals the deal for me.

Prediction: Under 138
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.