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Pick on the Spread for Houston-BYU on January 23

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Tuesday’s college basketball matchup between the Houston Cougars and BYU Cougars.

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NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Brigham Young Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The BYU Cougars and Houston Cougars meet in Provo on Tuesday for the first time as Big XII Conference foes and both have a chance to get a win over a ranked team.

Houston Cougars (-2.5, 136) vs. BYU Cougars

Both teams have been dominant on defense this season with Houston leading the nation in points allowed on a per-possession basis while BYU ranks fifth in this category. But, the home and road splits are stark for both teams.

BYU enters Tuesday allowing 14 points fewer per 100 possessions at home than on the road while Houston is allowing 24.4 points more per 100 possessions in a road or neutral court environment than at home.

There is also unparalleled balance currently with BYU that no other team has as it ranks fifth among Division I teams in both points scored and points allowed on a per-possession basis while Houston ranks 24th in points scored per-possession and is averaging 16.1 points per 100 possessions fewer on the road than at home.

Free throw shooting is also on the side of BYU with Houston ranked 301st in the nation in free throw shooting percentage at 67.3%. BYU ranks 127th and is making 76.3% of its free throws at home this season.

Another challenge for Houston is trying to shut down a team with so much scoring depth as BYU fields at least six different players that average at least 9.3 points per game.

With BYU’s ability to match up with Houston on the boards, ranking fifth nationally in rebound rate, it will be BYU that wins in this battle of Cougars.

The Play: BYU +2.5