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BETTING

Miami vs. Houston 2023 NCAAB Tournament Sweet 16 Odds & Picks


Under bettors are pounding the NCAA college basketball odds board for Friday’s Sweet 16 game between the Miami Hurricanes and Houston Cougars.

NCAAB Pick: Under 137.5 (-105) at BetMGM


Miami (Fl) Hurricanes vs. Houston Cougars

Friday, March 24, 2023 – 07:15 PM EDT at T-Mobile Center


Maybe the Miami Hurricanes were the best team in the Atlantic Coast Conference after all. They’re the only ACC team left at this year’s Division I Men’s College Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness 2023), now that Duke, Virginia, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh have all been eliminated.

The No. 5 Hurricanes also look like the sharp side for Friday’s Sweet Sixteen matchup with the No. 1 Houston Cougars. The consensus reports at press time show 80% of early bettors on the ‘Canes, who are priced at +7 (-108) on the NCAAB odds board at WynnBet.

The Best Bet

It’s still a pretty tight line. You’ll find more value for your college basketball picks taking Under 137.5 at BetMGM, especially with that -105 vigorish attached. That’s enough of a bargain to make the Under worth a proper one-unit wager in our estimation.

The sharps seem to agree. There’s even more consensus on the Under at press time, with 89% support according to the numbers at OddsTrader. Some sportsbooks have the total set at 138.5 with -115 vigorish, while others have the total at 138 with the standard -110 vig; for this bet, you should be willing to “buy” as many half-points as you can at five cents apiece.

How Good Is Miami?

Almost good enough to win the ACC title. They were a fashionable pick to beat Duke in the final, but starting forward Norchad Omier hurt his ankle just 66 seconds in, and the Blue Devils ended up winning 85-78 as 2.5-point favorites.

Omier made it back in time for March Madness, though, and he helped Miami (27-7 SU, 20-14 ATS, Under 18-15-1) sweep both their early-round Midwest games at the Big Dance, putting away No. 12 Drake (+2.5) and No. 4 Indiana (–1.5) in quick succession.

So Far In the Big Dance

That first game was a big one for the Hurricanes. Drake came in as a popular “12 over 5” pick for filling out those March Madness brackets, and the Bulldogs led 30-25 at halftime before Miami came roaring back. But the game remained tight throughout, and the Under cashed in easily on the 145.5-point total.

The books kept the same total for the Second Round matchup with the Hoosiers, which seemed odd at the time given Indiana’s quicker pace and shakier defense; Miami took advantage in an 85-69 blowout to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

This Hurricanes team is certainly better on paper than the one that reached the Elite Eight last year for the first time. Ken Pomeroy has Miami ranked No. 32 overall (No. 11 offense, No. 108 defense) according to efficiency, with the No. 99-ranked Adjusted Tempo in Division I at 68.9 possessions per game.

Those defensive woes explain why the Over has done so well for Miami this year – and why they’re ahead of only No. 91 Princeton among the remaining Sweet Sixteen survivors on the Pomeroy charts. But the second team in this contest more than makes up for it.

How Good Is Houston?

The best team in college hoops. That’s according to Pomeroy’s advanced stats; he has the Cougars (32-3 SU, 19-17 ATS, Under 19-16-1) ranked ninth on offense and fourth on defense, with a very slow pace of 63.5 possessions per game (No. 342).

Houston were well on their way to the No. 1 overall seed at March Madness before they got tripped up by Memphis (+5.5) in the AAC title game. They were an easy fade in their First Round tilt with No. 16 Northern Kentucky (+19.5), who fought valiantly before losing 63-52 (Under 122.5).

The Cougars had no trouble covering against No. 9 Auburn (+5.5) in the Second Round, cruising to a 81-64 victory (Over 132.5), but the Tigers really did it to themselves by shooting just 19-of-36 (52.8%) from the foul line.

Clinical From the Charity Stripe

Miami won’t make the same mistake. They rank No. 17 in the nation at 77.4% from the line, with Omier (72.3%) and guards Isaiah Wong (83.9%) and Jordan Miller (74.8%) putting in most of the work.

Houston’s overall defense and glacial pace still make the Under the preferred bet in this matchup. The Cougars allow opponents to shoot just 36.1% from the field, the lowest rate in Division I, and they’re just as stingy from the perimeter as they are inside the paint.

The Cougs also have the Under at 3-2 this postseason, but that shouldn’t stop recreational bettors from hammering the Over and giving us a better price for the Under once we get closer to tip-off. Bet accordingly.


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