- The Houston Cougars are 7-point favorites against the Miami Hurricanes.
- This Sweet Sixteen matchup predicts a total score of 138.0 with -110 odds to go either way.
- A parlay of Houston -4.5 and Under 138.0 has +197 odds.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The battle between Houston’s stout defense and Miami’s potent offense will make it difficult for bettors to choose a team. Houston (-320) is the reliable pick, only losing three games all season. The Hurricanes will look to keep the momentum from their 85-69 victory over the No. 4 seed Indiana Hoosiers and try to pull the upset.
This game will be a battle of efficiency. Houston ranks second in defensive efficiency amongst all qualifying Division-1 schools. Miami (FL) ranks eighth in the country in offensive efficiency, while the Cougars rank fourth.
Houston’s combination of top-five offensive and defensive efficiency is problematic for a Miami squad that likely needs to score over 70 points to cover as 7-point underdogs.
The Miami Hurricanes are coming off a strong victory where they exposed the Indiana Hoosiers in the round of 32, scoring 85 points in a decisive victory.
Indiana is a great team offensively, but they rank 102 in defensive efficiency.
In their first-round matchup against No. 12 seed Drake, Miami pulled away at the end to win 63-56. Drake ranks 17 in the nation in defensive efficiency, higher than championship-hopeful teams such as Texas and Kansas State.
While Drake allows an impressive 64.4 points per game, Houston is only allowing 56.6.
An analysis of the Miami-Drake matchup gives value to the under at 138.0 on March Madness betting sites for a similar Sweet Sixteen matchup against Houston.
It’s also worth noting that the under is 32-16 in the 48 March Madness games played thus far.
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Houston Alternate Spread of -4.5 (-180) vs Miami
Miami has been great when predicted to lose, going 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.
Betting on a five seed historically has not been profitable, especially to win outright. In the last 10 tournaments, a No. 5 seed has advanced to the Elite Eight only twice.
Although Miami’s +260 money line odds on online sportsbooks are enticing, the Hurricanes would need to overcome a trend in which only five percent of teams in their situation have been successful.
Houston is plenty talented enough to beat Miami by seven points; however, choosing an alternate spread of -4.5 is much more secure based on Miami’s recent good play as an underdog.
When an alternate line of Houston -4.5 is parlayed with the under at 138.0, the bet has +197 odds. The Cougars are in a great position to cover the alternate spread (-4.5) and cash the under by neutralizing the Miami offense.
Zach is currently a student enrolled at Florida State University. He is majoring in Writing, Editing, and Media with a minor in Communication. He has a passion for sports betting and specializes in DFS for NFL, NBA, and MLB. At the casino, you can find Zach playing Texas Hold’em Poker or roulette.