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UCF at Houston odds, picks and prediction

On Thursday, the UCF Knights (15-8, 7-6 AAC) will visit the Hofheinz Pavilion to take on the No. 15 Houston Cougars (20-4, 9-2). Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the UCF vs. Houston odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.

The Cougars fell 8 spots in the rankings this week, riding a two-game losing streak. They lost by 2 on the road to SMU, which felt like an acceptable loss. However, after returning home, they lost to Memphis by 10.

While the Tigers are talented, the Cougars showed some real flaws, primarily in their defense, which ranks 6th in the nation. They allowed 85 and 69 points over their last 2 games yet give up just 58.3 points per game this season.

The Cougars are 14-10 against the spread (ATS) this season. UCF, on the other hand, is 10-13 ATS. The Knights are also just 4-5 on the road. UCF has covered its last two straight as home favorites in each.

The Knights are 5-5 ATS over their last 10. They’re led by G Darin Green Jr., who is averaging 13.4 points per game.

Rankings courtesy of the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.

UCF at Houston odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:15 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: UCF +700 (bet $100 to win $700) | Houston -1200 (bet $1200 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): UCF +13.5 (-107) | Houston -13.5 (-115)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 136.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)

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UCF at Houston odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Houston 73, UCF 58

Money line

PASS.

Houston is riding a two-game losing streak and can’t be trusted for a -1200 value. Similarly, the Cougars are 12-1 at home and are unlikely to be upset by UCF.

Against the spread

“LEAN” to HOUSTON -13.5 (-115).

This is a get-right game for Houston.

The Cougars have lost two straight and have lost themselves, but they get an easier Knights team here. The Cougars rank 6th in opponents’ points per game but more importantly rank No. 1 in opponents’ shooting percentage.

UCF shoots the 229th-best from the field. Despite averaging 70.9 points per game, UCF will struggle to score here against a team that already heavily limits opponents. UCF is 0-2 ATS against ranked opponents.

Houston should steamroll UCF as it looks to get back on top. I’m not sold for Houston at this high of spread, though, so it’s certainly a lean here.

Over/Under

BET on the UNDER 136.5 (-115).

The Cougars’ defense is not to be overlooked, and it’s a main reason why they’ve gone under in more of their games this season.

They’re 11-12-1 O/U so far this season. Houston ranks 280th in possessions per game. Pace is a huge part of scoring in basketball, and they play at a slow one.

The Knights have been a little worse, 10-13 O/U. Within conference play, UCF is just 5-8 O/U. It has gone under in 6 of its last 10 games. UCF ranks 169th in possessions per game.

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