On Saturday, the Cincinnati Bearcats will face the Houston Cougars in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament. Cincinnati comes into this game as a massive underdog, as they need to win the AAC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, Houston comes into this Cincinnati vs Houston matchup hoping to keep winning to keep their shot at the number one seed in March Madness alive.
Cincinnati vs Houston Betting Pick
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This game will be played at Dickies Arena at 3:00 PM ET on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Why Bet on Cincinnati:
✅ Houston failed to cover as a huge favorite against East Carolina in their AAC Tournament opener. They will win this game, but fail to cover for a second straight game.
✅ Cincinnati managed to keep one of their two regular season games against Houston within single digits. They will do so for a second meeting in a row against the Cougars.
✅ The Bearcats are 12-7 against the spread in conference games this season, while Houston is just 8-11 against the spread in AAC competition.
Cincinnati Bearcats: Must Win Against Number One
Going into this Cincinnati vs Houston game, the Cincinnati Bearcats know that they need to win in order to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. They need to beat the Houston Cougars and then win the AAC championship game against either Tulane or Wichita State. But that will be easier said than done against a Houston team that has beaten the Bearcats twice already this season.
Cincinnati scored 84 points in their win over Temple in the quarterfinal round of this conference tournament. But they are taking on a Houston defense that allows just 56.5 points per game, and ranks fourth in the nation defensively according to Kenpom. Landers Nolley II will need to go off to relieve some of the pressure Cincinnati will be under against the Houston defense.
Houston Cougars: Playing For Number One Overall Seed
Houston did not have much trouble winning in the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament. They beat East Carolina 60-46, as the vaunted Cougars defense helped Houston win despite a 28% shooting day offensively. Here, Houston will need to be better offensively if they are going to win over Cincinnati and move to within one game of a conference championship and a shot at the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Earning the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament is by no means mandatory for Houston. We have seen in recent years that teams are more than capable of getting beaten in the NCAA Tournament from the number one overall position. More important for Houston going into this game and a potential championship game will be preserving their status on the one-seed line, as that does carry tangible benefits no matter where on the one-seed line they end up.