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How and what to watch for South Carolina vs. #10 Houston

A big win over Texas Tech vaulted Houston into the top 10 in college basketball, while South Carolina hasn’t been overly impressive early on in the season.

Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson reacts after a play during the first half against the Memphis Tigers at Fertitta Center. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

If you want to look really smart once we get to the NCAA Tournament, you should prepare yourselves by checking out the mid-majors that could make a deep run in March Madness. On Saturday, we may see one of them with the No. 10 Houston Cougars when they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks at home.

Houston is 3-0 and coming off its most impressive win of the young season when it defeated the then-ranked No. 14 Texas Tech Red Raiders 64-53 in the Southwest Showcase on Sunday with a limited capacity crowd that was mostly Texas Tech supporters. The Cougars never trailed and impressed the voters who jumped them into the top 10 of college basketball. Marcus Sasser was the leading scorer for the Cougars with 17 points on 5 of 15 shooting including 3 of 8 from the three-point line.

South Carolina has not been impressive through the first two games of the season and comes in with a 1-1 record despite playing not-so-quality competition. The Gamecocks opened their season with a 78-62 loss to Liberty in which they were blown out pretty much the entire game, followed by a 69-58 victory over Tulsa after a second-half surge. South Carolina hasn’t played since Sunday either, so both teams should be plenty rested going into this one.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch South Carolina vs. Houston on Saturday, December 5th at 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+, or you can watch via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: South Carolina vs. Houston (-9.5)
Point Total: 139.5
Money line: South Carolina (+380) vs. Houston (-500)

  • The total went over in seven of South Carolina’s last eight games, while it went under in seven of Houston’s last eight.
  • The total went over in five of South Carolina’s last six road games, and the under hit in the last five Houston home games.
  • Houston is 5-1 straight up in its last six games, and South Carolina is 3-5 straight up in its last eight.

Betting Splits

South Carolina: (13% of action, 8% of bets)
Houston: (87% of action, 92% of bets)

The Best Bet

Houston played a pair of somewhat respectable opponents with Boise State and Texas Tech and failed to reach 70 in each of those games, and I’m inclined to believe this game will be played at the Cougars’ pace. In addition, South Carolina did not reach 70 in each of its first two games, and offense might be a struggle this season for the Gamecocks. With all these ideas, let’s go with the under and root for missed layups and shot clock violations. How fun!

Pick: Under 139.5

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