Houston Cougars are in the NCAA Basketball Tournament’s of Final Four 2021 for the sixth time in school history and will be underdogs to the top-seeded Baylor Bears on Saturday in Indianapolis. The Cougars (28-3) ended a 37-year drought dating to three consecutive trips to the Final Four from 1982-84 — the latter two ending in back-to-back losses in the national title game. In fact, a loss to Baylor (26-2) on Saturday will give Houston the dubious distinction of making the most trips to the Final Four without winning a national championship.
Tip-off at Lucas Oil Stadium is set for 5:14 p.m. ET on CBS. The winner advances to the national championship game of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Monday to play either Gonzaga or UCLA. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bears as five-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 134.5 in the latest Baylor vs. Houston odds. Before locking in any Houston vs. Baylor picks, check out the March Madness college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
Live Houston vs Baylor game free stream
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Baylor vs. Houston in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Houston vs. Baylor:
- Baylor vs. Houston spread: Baylor -5
- Baylor vs. Houston over-under: 134.5 points
- Baylor vs. Houston money line: Baylor -220; Houston +180
- BAY: The Bears are 4-0 against AP top-10 teams this season
- HOU: The Cougars have won 11 straight neutral-site games
Why Baylor can cover
The Bears rank sixth nationally at 83.0 points per game and are No. 3 in offensive efficiency, averaging 123 points per 100 possessions per kenpom.com. They have been led in scoring all season by the three-guard backcourt of Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell, who are averaging between 16.5 and 14.0 points. Baylor has received a boost off the bench from sophomore guard Adam Flager, who is averaging 11.0 points in the NCAAs.
Flagler also is 8 of 12 from long range in the tournament for the Bears, the nation’s top 3-point shooting team. While Butler and Mitchell are two of the country’s better defenders, averaging 2.0 steals in the NCAA Tournament, Flagler has matched them with eight steals over the past four games. Baylor has forced 69 turnovers and committed only 29 for a plus-40 margin, the best four-game mark in the NCAAs since Kentucky (+42) in 1996.
Why Houston can cover
While the Cougars did put up 87 points in a first-round drubbing of Cleveland State, they are averaging only 64 points in each of their last three victories, topping out at 67 points against Oregon State in the Elite Eight. Houston’s defense has been superb throughout the season and is surrendering only 55.8 points in the NCAA Tournament 2021. That is the lowest mark for any team entering the Final Four since Syracuse in 2016.
The only team to allow fewer points than Houston (57.6 per game) was Loyola Chicago (56.1), which made it to the Sweet 16. The Cougars are eighth in defensive efficiency with 64.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, according to kenpom.com. They also are No. 1 nationally in field goal defense at 37.3 percent and will be matching strength vs. strength against a Baylor squad that topped the country in 3-point shooting percentage (41.1).