Louisiana vs. Houston NCAA Basketball Picks and Odds Analysis

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Marcus Sasser #0 of the Houston Cougars. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP

A couple of teams coming off tough losses collide on Tuesday night’s sports betting card when the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns travel west on I-10 into the Lone Star State for a matchup with the Houston Cougars. 

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Houston Cougars  

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Fertitta Center 

Owners of a couple of 4-game win streaks this season, Houston will be looking to start another one that lasts at least that long when Louisiana comes to town for Wednesday’s clash. The Cougars were picked just behind Memphis in the AAC on the NCAA basketball futures odds, and the way the Tigers have stumbled, the conference could be Houston’s for the taking.

This was projected to be a down year overall for the Sun Belt, the consensus being everyone was chasing Georgia State and South Alabama. That’s nothing new for Louisiana who chased both those schools a year ago, denying the Ragin’ Cajuns their first invite to the NCAA Men’s Tournament since 2014.  

Brown Leads Strong Frontcourt for ULL 

Between finals taking place at Houston and the general chaos that comes with this time of year, they’re practically giving away tickets to draw a crowd to the Fertitta Center. Online betting sites hope they have set the numbers to attract plenty of action on the game with Houston favored by a whopping 21½ and 141½ for the total. 

Now in his 11th season in Lafayette, Bob Marlin might be in real trouble if not for Jordan Brown’s decision to transfer in from Arizona. The 6-11 sophomore leads the Ragin’ Cajuns in scoring and rebounding and isn’t too far off the pace in the assists column. Brown is coming off a season-high 30 last Saturday in Ruston, connecting on 13 of his 18 field goal attempts

Trouble is, his teammates only combined for 39 more points and the Ragin Cajuns fell 78-69 at Louisiana Tech. The final pushed a 9-point spread favoring the Bulldogs on the college basketball odds board, and the result stopped a modest string of two consecutive wins and covers for Louisiana.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have just one more contest after this before Sun Belt play begins at the end of the month, and it comes against a Loyola-New Orleans team that is unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in the NAIA. 

Will Loss at ‘Bama Carry Over for UH? 

If you missed the game between Houston and Alabama last Saturday night, then you missed one of the most fiercely-fought games of the season. The Cougars and Crimson Tide were within a few points of each other all evening, and Alabama eventually prevailed 83-82 on a late dunk from JD Davison. 

Houston backers grabbed the cover as a 3-point road ‘dog at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review) but head coach Kelvin Sampson and his players thought they should have won the game outright when a goaltending call was not made in the waning seconds.

 It had the Cougars in a very sour mood leaving the court, leading to Sampson needing to apologize to Alabama afterward. Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats even noted he would’ve wanted goaltending if the same play went against his side. 

The Cougars have just two more games before Christmas after this one, one of those taking place in Ft. Worth against the Oklahoma State Cowboys this Saturday. The schedule will turn to pure AAC matchups beginning December 28 at home against Cincinnati. 

Cougars Have Covered Last Three Meetings 

When the Ragin’ Cajuns and Cougars hit the floor tonight, it will have been eight years to the day since they last got together. It is Houston with the 9-7 lead in the series, which dates to the 1960s, and includes a couple of meetings in 1973 when both teams were ranked.

One of those took place in the first round of Midwest Region in the 1973 NCAA Tournament, Louisiana posting a 102-89 mild upset. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns also won the last meeting (Dec. 14, 2013) at home in Lafayette, a 79-76 final that needed overtime to decide. Louisiana was favored by 7½ in that meeting, giving Houston the cover just as the Cougars covered the previous two matchups as the favorites. All four meetings in Lafayette ended in victory for Louisiana. 

I am not sure where the points are going to come from on the Louisiana side this evening, and there’s also uncertainty as to just what frame of mind Houston’s going to be in. I am also unaccustomed to laying this many points with a college basketball pick, but sometimes you just have to chew the chalk. 

NCAAB Pick: Houston -21½ (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Houston -21½ (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.