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Tuesday night’s college basketball action features a few ranked teams playing in non-conference matchups. The North Carolina A&T Aggies face the No. 5 Houston Cougars, who just lost their first game of the season to now No. 4 Alabama. Additionally, the Arizona Wildcats host the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders.
The spreads on these games will be pretty wide; see if we believe the underdogs can cover on the road or if the big home favorites will surpass sportsbooks’ already hefty expectations. All of our best bets for these games are listed below!
When: 8:00 PM EST
North Carolina A&T Aggies
O 128.5 (-110)
U 128.5 (-110)
It took ten games for Houston to finally suffer a loss, and it was undoubtedly to a worthy opponent in the now No. 4 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Houston lost by six points at home, primarily due to its three-point shooting woes. The Cougars only shot 3-for-13 from behind the arc and also didn’t perform that much better inside the arc. Their team shooting split of 39/23/55 will not get it done against other elite basketball teams like Alabama.
The consistent offense has been Houston’s glaring weakness throughout the beginning portion of the 2022-23 season. After missing a large part of last year, Marcus Sasser hasn’t looked like himself either. Sasser has still scored a fair amount, but his three-point shooting has been below average. Houston needs him to find his shot by the end of the season if it wants to make another deep tournament run.
Houston simply overmatches opponents in games like these due to its size, physicality, defensive intensity, maturity, and experience. Even when the Cougars shoot as poorly as they did against Alabama, they still can beat 95% of teams handily. Houston boasts the second-ranked defense per KenPom, which spells trouble for a North Carolina A&T squad that ranks 267th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. The bottom line: Houston should win by 35-40 points in an absolute smackdown, especially after suffering such a brutal loss to Alabama and dropping out of the No. 1 spot.
When: 8:30 PM EST
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders
O 162.5 (-110)
U 162.5 (-110)
Let’s put this out there: Arizona has the best offense in the entire nation. The Wildcats’ outstanding performance against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday night was beyond impressive. Sure, they had a few challenging games, but the paint dominance against a team with an elite frontcourt was eye-opening. Arizona dismantled Indiana’s top-ten-caliber defense, posting 89 points on 49% shooting from the field and 40% from deep.
Arizona pulled down ten more rebounds than the Hoosiers and flexed its scoring prowess, too. The Wildcats’ two leading scorers, Oumar Ballo and Azuolas Tubelis, combined for 36 points, 19 rebounds, and four assists. Ballo and Tubelis have helped Arizona rank first in the nation in eFG% (effective field goal percentage) by a wide margin.
Texas A&M-CC has an experienced roster led by talented guards and forwards. Isaac Mushila, a 6-foot-5 senior forward from Congo, leads the Islanders in points (15.9) and rebounds (11.2) per game. Their second-leading rebounder is 6-foot-8 senior forward De’Lazarus Keys, who averages 4.7 per game. Unfortunately, there is no worse matchup for the Islanders than Arizona due to the two talented seven-footers it boasts in the frontcourt. There’s a reason the Wildcats dominate in the paint, and this will only be amplified due to the Islanders’ lack of size.
My only concern with this game is inspiration: will the Wildcats bring the same spark in this one they did against the Hoosiers? If the answer is “yes,” this will be a beatdown of epic proportions, and there should be no issues covering the 23-point spread. Arizona is exceptionally well-coached, disciplined, and experienced, so it should be able to hit the restart button and do it all over again, like any elite team in past years.
Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.More info on Andrew Norton
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