The No. 23 Houston Cougars (21-6, 11-4 AAC) can continue a 12-game home winning streak when they go head-to-head against the East Carolina Pirates (10-16, 4-11 AAC) at Health & PE Center. Houston is a 25-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 144 points. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 25, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN 3.
East Carolina Pirates at Houston Cougars Free Preview
The last time the Pirates played, they were blown out by the SMU Mustangs, 77-58. With 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, Isaac Fleming was the top scorer from either team. SMU held the Pirates to an effective field goal percentage of 0.414 (below their season average of 0.491). East Carolina, meanwhile, forced the Mustangs into a turnover percentage of 18.9 (above their season average of 15.4).
The Cougars are hoping for a better outcome after their 91-85 loss to the Memphis Tigers in their last matchup. Rob Gray was the games high scorer with 30 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Memphis did an excellent job of converting from the free throw line (29-36; 80.6 percent). Houston, on the other hand, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 41.7 (above their season average of 34.8).
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, Houston figures to have a substantial advantage. The Cougars defense ranks ninth in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.458), while the East Carolina offense is ranked 288th in effective field goal percentage (0.488).
In terms of the O/U total, these teams are complete opposites. Games featuring East Carolina have finished over 63.2 percent of the time, while 60.9 percent of Houston games have finished under. The Cougars hold a significant advantage in terms of straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 21-6 SU and 13-10 ATS, while the Pirates are 10-16 SU and 10-9 ATS.
Both teams have had a player trending in the right direction over their last five games. For the Pirates, it’s been Fleming, who has averaged 13.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists, while the Cougars have gotten great contributions from Armoni Brooks (12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds).
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to put up 114 points in that game, which was well under the projected point total of 144. The Cougars won 65-49, but were unable to cover as 17.5-point favorites. The Cougars played a nearly perfect game. They had an effective field goal percentage of 0.462 and a turnover percentage of 12.9. The Pirates were 0.351 and 16.2, respectively, for those same stats. Corey Davis Jr. was the games top overall scorer with 20 points.
East Carolina Pirates at Houston Cougars Betting Prediction
Free College Basketball Pick: SU Winner – Houston, ATS Winner – East Carolina, O/U – Over
- The Cougars rank 40th in blocks allowed per game (2.7) while the Pirates rank 131st (3.6).
- East Carolina is 4-4 ATS on the road with 6 overs and 2 unders.
- At home, Houston is 7-2 ATS with 7 unders and 2 overs.
- Houston ranks 25th in assists allowed per game (11.1) while East Carolina ranks 243rd (15.4).
- The Cougars rank 21st in rebounds per game (39.4) while the Pirates rank 212th in rebounds allowed per game (36.4).
- Houston ranks 39th in steals allowed per game (5.3) while East Carolina ranks 175th (6.8).
- Houston is 3-2 ATS with 4 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, East Carolina is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under.
- The Cougars average margin of victory in their last five games has been 12.0, up from 11.4 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Pirates have scored an average of 76.2 points per game (8.7 above their season average) and allowed an average of 83.2 points per game (9.7 above their season average).