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Texas A&M vs. Houston: Cougars look to remain undefeated

The Aggies and the Cougars meet in Houston on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Jackson State at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas A&M Aggies meet the No. 4 Houston Cougars on Saturday, December 16. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET from the Toyota Center in Houston and the game will air on ESPN2.

Texas A&M (7-3) fell to Memphis, 81-75 last Sunday, bringing them to 1-2 in their last three games after a loss to Virginia and a win over DePaul. The Aggies have lost to Florida Atlantic and beaten Ohio State, Penn State, and Oral Roberts in a tough non-conference slate to begin the season.

The Aggies rank 23rd overall at KenPom and eighth in adjusted offensive efficiency. They grab 15.7 offensive rebounds per game, ranking second in the nation. Wade Taylor IV leads the offense with 17.1 points and 4.9 assists per game, and Henry Coleman adds an average of 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds.

In the Aggies’ three losses, they have continued to match or beat their opponents on rebounds. However, in two of their three losses, they seriously struggled from the three-point line, going 6-for-33 from the perimeter against Memphis and 4-for-23 against Virginia. They now face yet another challenge in this top-five team.

Houston (10-0) is fresh off yet another win, most recently beating Jackson State 89-55 last Saturday. The Cougars also have wins over Xavier and Utah on their resume this season, though they have yet to face a ranked opponent. They rank first overall at KenPom and land first in adjusted defensive efficiency, while they sit at 17th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Houston keeps their opponents to 49.7 points per game, which ranks first in the nation. Houston’s opponents shoot 35% from the field (second-lowest in the nation) and 27.5% from the three-point line (18th in the nation). The Cougars average 11.6 steals per game, which ranks fifth among all teams.

LJ Cryer leads the Cougars on offense, scoring 17.6 points per game. J’Wan Roberts leads a top-10 rebounding squad with 7.3 rebounds per game. The Cougars, who recently joined the Big XII, have not begun conference play yet. This matchup marks one of their biggest tests yet this season.

The Aggies’ greatest strength this season lies in their rebounding, but Houston is still better than them in that metric. The Cougars have the edge over the Aggies in just about every facet of this game, and will dominate on both ends of the court. With Houston’s three-point defense getting in A&M’s way, this is the perfect recipe for a big Cougars win.

Texas A&M vs. Houston Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Houston -7
Total: 131
Moneyline: Houston -325, Texas A&M +260

Pick: Houston -7