UAB Vs. Houston Odds, Picks, and Predictions (3/17/22)

UAB got a brutal draw in the first round against the under-seeded Houston, but they will be fired up for their first tournament appearance since 2015. Despite having a 29-5 record and ranking as the #5 team in the country per KenPom, Houston was handed a #5 seed in the tournament. Houston ended its season with an impressive win over Memphis in the AAC Tournament final, but injuries now hang over their chances to make a deep postseason run. Meanwhile, UAB ended their regular season with impressive wins over Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech to take the Conference USA Tournament title.

UAB Vs. Houston Betting Odds

UAB Betting Odds

In Andy Kennedy’s second season as UAB’s head coach, he has already led them back to the NCAA Tournament on the heels of a stellar regular season. They finished 27-7 overall and 14-4 in Conference USA. UAB ranks 49th in the country on KenPom, mainly on the strength of their 29th-ranked offense. The Blazers rank 46th in NET Rating with a solid 2-1 record against Quad 1 teams this season.

UAB is led by junior guard Jordan Walker who, despite being just 5’11” and 170 lbs, is averaging 20.4 points and 4.8 assists per game. Perhaps most impressive is his 88.3% from the free-throw stripe and 40.6% from three-point range – he’s a lethal shooter. Three other players in Quan Jackson, Michael Ertel, and KJ Buffen average double-digit points, but Walker is the straw that stirs the drink for the Blazers.

Houston Betting Odds

Houston had a stellar regular season that had them ranked 15th in the country in the final AP Poll. Houston ranked 10th in offensive efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency per KenPom, and they had the 3rd-best NET Rating in the country. However, the primary reason they ended up as a #5 seed was their 1-4 record against Quad 1 teams. Their inability to beat their most formidable opponents doesn’t bode well for their chances at a deep tournament run.

The biggest issue Houston currently faces, however, is their health. The Cougars lost star guard Marcus Sasser to a season-ending foot injury in December, and they haven’t been the same team without him as they have since lost to Memphis (twice) and SMU. Kyler Edwards (13.6 points per game) and Fabian White (13.2 points per game) will be relied upon to pick up the scoring slack with Sasser out of the lineup.

UAB Vs. Houston Picks & Prediction

The loss of Marcus Sasser hangs over Houston’s ability to make a deep tournament run, as does their 1-4 Quad 1 record. Still, neither factor should be very significant against a UAB team that’s arguably the worst #12 seed in the tournament this year. Jordan Walker can put on a show, and he might even be able to do enough to keep this game close enough to cover the spread, but advanced efficiency metrics see a massive gap between these teams, and I’m confident in Houston getting the win.

My Predictions: Houston wins 62-55, UAB covers, under 136 points

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I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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