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(1) Houston vs. (4) Duke: Betting Tips, Prediction, and Betting Odds

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(1) Houston vs. (4) Duke: Betting Tips, Prediction, and Betting Odds

Both teams are coming into the Sweet 16 after two outstanding offensive performances. Houston put up 100 in OT vs. Texas A&M and Duke dropped 93 in a drubbing of JMU. This should be a very exciting matchup between two teams with legitimate National Championship aspirations.

Houston’s offense has come alive in the tournament, but they have been very reliant on their elie defense this season. The Cougars are in the top 10 nationally in the following defensive categories: Scoring defense (1st), turnover margin (1st), opposing FG% (2nd), scoring margin (2nd), and steals per game (7th). The backcourt duo of LJ Cryer and Jamal Shead are the leaders of their offense. Emanuel Sharp is also a very capable guard who is capable of shooting from deep.

The Blue Devils have relied heavily on their offense to get this far. They are in the top 50 scoring offense, three point percentage, and effective field goal percentage. All five of their starters are averaging double digit points. They are led on offense by freshman guard Jared McCain and 7 footer Kyle Filipowski. Duke is also a very solid defensive team. They’re as elite as Houston, but they are 31st in the nation in scoring defense.

Houston Point Spread

Houston -3.5 is available at the time of publishing. Playable at that number.

Sunday’s collapse vs. Texas A&M should be a wakeup call for Kelvin Sampson’s squad. The Aggies’ strategy was to be very physical and get to the rim as much as possible. Duke does not play that style. They mainly rely on outside and mid-range shooting to win. They will probably have to replicate their 50% three point shooting against JMU to win this one.

The Blue Devils have shown they are beatable vs. quality teams. They were 4-4 vs. teams who made the tournament in the regular season. That includes getting swept by rival UNC. Houston should suffocate them on defense and cover the short spread. Back the Cougars in this one.

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(1) Houston vs. (4) Duke Total Points Under 134.5

Under 134.5 Total Points is available at the time of publishing. Playable at that number.

Expect this game to be played at a snail's pace. Houston was very out of their comfort zone against A&M with the fast tempo. They will look to get back to their game here and slow it way down. The Cougars are 346th in the country in adjusted tempo. Duke should be more than willing to play at that speed. They rank 245th in that category. On top of the slow tempo, both offenses will struggle to score against the great defenses on the other side. Given how strong both teams are on defense, and the slow tempo, it is hard to see either offense get hot. Points will be at a premium in this one. Take the under.

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