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NCAA Final Four Betting Preview: Houston Cougars vs. Baylor Bears

NCAA Basketball Previews


 
Just four teams remain in the NCAA Tournament, and that number will be trimmed in half on Saturday night. The Houston Cougars take on the Baylor Bears in the first semifinal game, and it will be followed by Gonzaga-UCLA.

The Cougars earned the number two seed in the Midwest Region after losing just three regular season games. Houston had a relatively easy route to advance to the Final Four, becoming the first team in tournament history to face only double-digits seeds en route to the Final Four. However, Houston also looked extremely impressive in getting there.

Baylor was the number two overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and the top seed in the South Region. They were not really challenged in the South, and they come into this game with a ton of momentum. 

The Bears are five-point favorites over Houston in this matchup of top-five teams. 

 

Houston's D is Key

The Cougars are one of the country's best defensive teams, and scoring 60 points against them has proven difficult. Houston has enough length that they should be able to challenge the terrific guards that Baylor has. 

Quentin Grimes provides much of the offense for the Cougars, averaging right around 18 points per game. Grimes can light it up if given some clean looks, but that will be hard to come by against Baylor.

The one thing that Houston does want to do is to slow down the tempo of this game and try to frustrate Baylor. The Cougars can win a game in the 60s, but they can’t keep up if Baylor goes on a big run. 

Baylor Must Make Shots

If Baylor is going to advance to the National Championship game, they will have to make more shots. Baylor led the nation in three-point shooting this season, but they haven’t shot it all that well in the NCAA Tournament.

Jared Butler leads the team with 18 points per game, earning several accolades for his performance. MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell have also been terrific this season, and they can take over a game when needed. 

Baylor has also shown the ability to lock down opposing teams, allowing 66 points per game this season. The Bears will make life difficult on the Houston Cougars on the offensive end. 

Cougars Complete Massive Upset

Both of these teams play with incredible toughness, and strong guard play is vital to each squad's success. That should set up for a terrific matchup on Saturday night in the first of two Final Four games.

Baylor has been a title contender since the season began, but counting Houston out is not wise with how the Cougars are playing. The Baylor Bears usually win games by overwhelming opponents, but that won’t happen to Houston.

Picking against the Baylor Bears is always risky, but Houston will find a way to pull off this upset. Bet the Houston Cougars money line over the Baylor Bears in the first Final Four game on Saturday night.

 

BETTING PICK: Houston Cougars moneyline.

Be sure to check out all of our Final Four picks!

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