Saturday is full of neutral site college basketball action, with the Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Houston Cougars matchup being one of the most noteworthy of those contests. This game will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, which is closer to Dallas than Houston. Either way, there should be fans of both teams present for this game, which pits the heavily favored Cougars against an Oklahoma State team that is looking for a signature win against a team that could make a second straight Final Four run this season.
The month of December has been difficult for Oklahoma State so far, as the Cowboys have lost two games and were taken to overtime by Cleveland State. But they have a chance to erase the pain that December has brought if they can find a way to slow down the Houston Cougars’ offense. Unfortunately, Houston has not been easy to slow down by any stretch of the imagination, and Oklahoma State will have a real challenge on its hands.
Oklahoma State Cowboys – Searching For Consistency
Oklahoma State is not playing its best basketball by any stretch of the imagination right now. After a 6-1 start to the season, the Cowboys lost back to back games to the Wichita State Shockers and Xavier Musketeers. And while the Cowboys did manage to survive a scare against Cleveland State in overtime, there is no scenario where Oklahoma State will consider their recent form anything short of disastrous.
Right now, the issue for the Cowboys has simply been finding a way to play consistent basketball on both ends of the floor. When they have played well offensively, they have given up too many points defensively. And when the Cowboys manage to hold their opponents in check on defense, they have done a terrible job of putting the ball in the basket. Here, the Cowboys will look for their first well-rounded performance in quite some time against an elite Houston team.
Expected Line-Up: Isaac Likekele, Donovan Williams, Avery Anderson III, Bryce Williams, Kalib Boone
with best odds
Houston Cougars – Playing High Level Hoops
Houston, meanwhile, has to feel encouraged with the way that they have started this college basketball season. They are off to a 9-2 start, and nearly picked up the victory in their last loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide on the road. Here, they will look to notch a power conference win over an Oklahoma State team that is struggling, but is still anything but an easy win in a non-conference neutral site matchup.
Unlike Oklahoma State, Houston has done a really nice job of playing well on both ends of the floor for the most part. They are averaging 80 points per game on offense, while allowing just 56 points per game on defense. Those numbers give the Cougars plenty of wiggle room most of the time, as they can afford to have a slightly worse game than usual on offense or defense without cutting too far into their margins in most cases.
Expected Line-Up: Taze Moore, Kyler Edwards, Marcus Sasser, Josh Carlton, Fabian White Jr.
Expert Pick #1 – Houston -9.5 @ -110
Our first betting tip for this matchup is Houston -9.5 at -110 odds. This bet is equal parts a backing of the Cougars and a fade of the Cowboys. Oklahoma State has been playing terrible basketball lately, which is a massive concern when taking on a team like the Cougars. With Marcus Sasser set to come back into the starting lineup for Houston, the Cougars should win this game by double figures.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 135 @ -110
The next bet to place on this game is the under 135 at -110 odds. Houston should put up big numbers offensively in this matchup, but their defense should absolutely lock down the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Expect the game to fall into the 120s from a scoring perspective, as the Houston defense should keep this contest under the total as they cover the spread as well.
Expert Pick #3 – Oklahoma State Under 62.5 Points @ -115
The final bet to place in this contest is Oklahoma State under 62.5 points at -115 odds. Oklahoma State hasn’t been consistent with its scoring all season, and that will continue to be a problem against one of the better defensive teams in all of college basketball in the Houston Cougars. Expect the Cougars to hold the Cowboys in check from start to finish.
Houston is simply a level above the Oklahoma State Cowboys right now, even if the Cowboys come from a larger conference than the Cougars. The Cougars are better on both sides of the floor than the Cowboys, which will bear itself out in the point spread and the total here. Expect Houston to cover the spread and for the total to stay under.