NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Houston To Cruise To An Easy Victory vs. Tulane

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 5:17 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 5:17 PM UTC

The Houston Cougars travel to New Orleans to face the Tulane Green Wave. In an earlier meeting, Houston prevailed handily (63-45) as 10 point home chalk. Who will be our NCAA basketball pick?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Houston -5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Houston vs. Tulane 9:30PM ET
This is a key game for Houston, who is 19-6 SU, including 8-5 SU ATS in ACC play. As a result, they will be well focused against a Tulane team, who has shockingly won 3 consecutive games, including a pair of upsets.  

This bureau, however, is not fooled by those recent performances. Three games ago, Tulane won (62-60) on this floor against UCF. They then went to E. Carolina and emerged with a (100-92) OT victory as 6 point road dog. On Saturday, they followed that up with yet another OT victory on this court vs. vastly overrated Memphis (94-87). Before you get too excited about those victories, note that it would be surprising to see any of those teams in post season play. All are currently solid losers in the ACC standings. The harsh reality for Tulane is that they are once again this year a Towel Tosser and a qualified Offensive Oaf. From a statistical point of view, they score just 67 PPG on 40% shooting and 30% from the arc. Their long-term records under HC Conroy are downright dreadful. Tulane is 36-56 ATS, including 5-9 ATS this season as underdog. In addition, they are 38-62 ATS, including 5-7 ATS this year in conference play. Tulane, as most Towel Tossers, is just 2-5 ATS following a win this year. Consider them a clear play against team in this situation coming off consecutive underdog OT victories.

Houston will prosper with the return of lead guard, Rob Gray, to their lineup.  Under 2nd year HC Calvin Sampson (Oklahoma, Indiana), the Cougars have made a major move in the AAC.  After a 13-19 SU campaign last year, including 4-14 SU in the loop, the Cougars have rebounded to go 19-6 SU this season.  Included has been solid play of late, as they enter today on a 5-1 SU ATS run, including victories over Tulsa and SMU, who are among the upper echelon of the league. They have only been asked to step out as road favorite in the league twice this season. Yet, they have responded with victories both times at USF and ECU. Well alerted by 3 close games last year in the series, by Tulane’s recent upset wins, and by their post-season need, look for Houston (a high-scoring team who averages 79 PPG and has positive margins in all key fundamentals).

I invite you to put the NCAA Basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA Basketball pick on Houston tonight.

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