A pair of Sweet 16 berths will be earned on Saturday evening in Birmingham. In the first of two second round matchups, the No. 1 seed Houston Cougars take on the No. 9 Auburn Tigers in the Midwest Region of the 2023 NCAA Tournament bracket at Legacy Arena. Houston is 32-3 overall this season, including 14 wins in the last 15 games. Auburn is 21-12 overall, including a win over No. 8 seed Iowa in Thursday’s first round tilt. Houston guard Marcus Sasser (groin) told reporters he plans to play despite aggravating his injury on Thursday.
Tipoff is at 7:10 p.m. ET in Birmingham. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Cougars as 5-point favorites, while the over/under is 132 in the latest Auburn vs. Houston odds. Before you make any Auburn vs. Houston picks, you need to see the college basketball predictions and March Madness betting advice SportsLine’s advanced computer simulation model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Auburn vs. Houston and just locked in its picks and March Madness predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Now, here are several college basketball betting lines and trends for Auburn vs. Houston:
- Auburn vs. Houston spread: Houston -5
- Auburn vs. Houston over/under: 132 points
- Auburn vs. Houston money line: Houston -235, Auburn +192
- AUB: The Tigers are 4-5-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
- HOU: The Cougars are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games
- Auburn vs. Houston picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Auburn can cover
Auburn has strong offensive balance, including four players averaging in double figures this season. The Tigers are led by Johni Broome, with the veteran big man averaging 14.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this season. Broome also shined in the first round win over Iowa, scoring 19 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and blocking five shots. Auburn is securing nearly 33% of missed shots on the offensive glass this season, and the Tigers are also shooting 51% on 2-point attempts while generating nearly 21 free throw attempts per game.
On defense, Auburn is in the top five nationally in 3-point defense, yielding 28.7% from beyond the arc, and the Tigers are blocking 13.8% of shot attempts. Auburn is holding opponents to 47% from 2-point range, and the Tigers are creating a turnover on 19.1% of possessions. That includes an 11.5% steal rate, and Auburn is giving up only 11.2 assists per game.
Why Houston can cover
Houston’s defense is stifling this season, including top-four national metrics in adjusted defensive efficiency and scoring defense (56.4 points allowed per game). The Cougars lead the country in field goal percentage allowed (36.1%), with top-five marks in 2-point percentage allowed (43.0%) and 3-point percentage allowed (27.3%). Houston held Northern Kentucky to 27.5% shooting and a 5 of 33 mark from 3-point range. The Cougars also lead the country with a 16.3% block rate this season.
Houston creates a turnover on 21.7% of defensive possessions, and has a 12.6% steal rate. The Cougars also yield only 10.0 assists per game, and have a strong 72.3% defensive rebound rate. Auburn is shooting only 31.5% from 3-point range, and the Tigers are below the national average in free throw accuracy (70.5%) and live-ball turnover rate (10.3%).
How to make Auburn vs. Houston picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, with both teams capable of creating defensive havoc that leads to transition offense. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 70% of simulations. You can only see the model’s pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Auburn vs. Houston? And which side of the spread hits in well over 70% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Auburn vs. Houston spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.