The top-seeded Arizona will meet with the fifth-seeded Houston in the Top 16 stage of March Madness 2022. Keep reading if you want to learn more about this game and to check out some of our free betting picks along the way.
Arizona -1.5 @ -110
Under 145.5 Total Poings @ -110
The Arizona vs Houston is perhaps the closest matchup in the Top 16 phase, which is not surprising since it’s a rare occurrence in which both teams who were favorites in their part of the bracket actually reached this stage.
Arizona (33-3) is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2017 and they are hoping to make it to the Final Four tournament, which they should based on their seeding. The team is 20-15-1 ATS this season, but the Wildcats didn’t show their best in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, especially in the second round against TCU since they only won that game by five points, after overtime.
On the other hand, Houston (31-5) will be making their third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance and the team was pretty dominant in the first two rounds, covering the spread in both of them. In fact, they are the second-best remaining team when it comes to the ATS record since they are 24-12 ATS this season.
So, it’s clear that the two teams are very well matched and that we are about to see an exciting game. Here are our predictions for the Sweet 16 matchup between Arizona and Houston – the odds are provided by BetMGM.
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Arizona vs Houston Game Info
South Region – Sweet 16: No.1 Arizona vs No.5 Houston
Tipoff Time: 9:59 p.m. Thursday, March 24
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Tex.
Arizona vs Houston Odds Analysis
The odds for this game have changed since they were released but not by much. For example, the line on Arizona who is the favorite dropped by one point and now it’s at -1.5. That means that the bettors are confident that the Cougars can do well in this game, despite being the lower-seeded team.
Meanwhile, the total didn’t move at all since the opening and it remains at 145.5 total points, which means that the bettors are equally supporting over and under so far for this game, which doesn’t have to mean much for March Madness betting.
Arizona vs Houston Predictions
Now that we’ve covered some basic information about the game, it’s time to share our betting picks and predictions for Arizona vs Houston:
Arizona to Win on Spread (-1.5) @ -110
Both of these teams have certain advantages that may make the difference in their upcoming duel and it’s very difficult to predict the winner here, as is evident from the odds. Arizona is the higher-seeded team, but Houston doesn’t have a much worse record and they are the fifth seed in the region.
In any case, Arizona showed that one of their major weaknesses is giving the ball away too much since they had 16 turnovers against TCU and 19 against Wright State. Meanwhile, Houston is third in the country in steals, so it’s clear that Arizona will have to do a much better job of protecting the ball if they want to avoid defeat in this game.
On the other hand, Arizona is one of the best rebounding teams in the country and they have a very potent offense since they rank sixth in points per game with 84.4 PPG. But their rebounding dominance was not present against TCU and Houston managed to kill Illinois on the offensive rebounds alone. From this angle, it looks like Houston can overcome their weaknesses against Arizona.
However, they can’t overcome size. Arizona has a huge size advantage and we feel that Houston won’t be able to put up a fight on the glass due to this differential. This is the main reason why we would go with Arizona in this game.
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Under 145.5 Total Points
While Arizona has a very potent offense as we already mentioned, the Cougars have been very active on defense in the first two rounds and they managed to keep their opponents under 70 points in both of those games (they allowed just 53 points in the first round).
Give Arizona’s propensity for turning the ball over and the high points total in this game which is set at 145.5 total points, we can see this game going under that line. Another reason why we don’t expect too many points is pace. Houston will do their best to keep the pace slow and we can see them succeeding, especially since Arizona might also want to do this to keep their turnovers to a minimum.
In addition to this, the average over/under for Houston games this season was 133.4 total points, which is a whole 12 points fewer than the total set for this game. Meanwhile, the average point total for Arizona games was 148.8 this year, just 2.3 more points than this game’s total. So, given the stage and importance of the game, under 145.5 total points sounds like a good bet.