Baylor and Houston are rolling into the Final Four after taking different paths to get here. This all-Texas matchup pits two old Southwest Conference schools against one another. The winner will have the right to move on and play the winner of Gonzaga-UCLA in the National Championship.
Let’s take a look at this Baylor vs. Houston matchup with an emphasis on the odds, analysis, and betting pick for this Elite Eight game.
Baylor vs. Houston Betting Pick
Baylor and Houston are two of the best teams in the country. There’s no doubting any team when they make a run at the Final Four. However, Baylor has a much stronger track record this year. Houston’s weak schedule pales in comparison to the rough-and-tumble schedule Baylor played this season. Will Houston pull off the upset and shock the world, or has their easy schedule given them a boost in March Madness?
Baylor vs. Houston Odds
Here are the latest odds on Baylor vs. Houston at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Baylor -5.5 (-109) // -235 // O 135 (-107)
Houston +5.5 (-110) // +195 // U 135 (-113)
Baylor is a favorite yet again. This is nothing new for the Bears this season. In fact, they have been favored in every single game they have played this season. The only way they will be an underdog at all this year is if they meet Gonzaga in the National Championship game.
Meanwhile, this will only be the fifth time all year that Houston finds itself as the underdog in a game. They have been heavily favored in nearly every single one of their NCAA Tournament games. That’s not surprising considering the fact that they have played a double-digit seed in each round of March Madness so far.
But we can throw out past records and trends when it comes to this Final Four matchup. We are going to see two great teams going at it for 40 minutes. This game could truly go either way.
Why Baylor Can Cover The Spread
Baylor is absolutely stacked with talent. They have multiple guys who can create off the dribble, excellent shooters, and a slew of great defenders. The Bears rebound as well as anyone in the country and that has helped them on both ends of the court. Baylor ranks second in offensive rating and sixth in points per game.
With all that said, they are no slouch on the defensive end. They rank 25th in defensive rating and 52nd in opponent points per game. Part of the reason why they are a bit lower in opponent points per game is because of their pace. Teams will be able to put up points because Baylor keeps the game moving.
Baylor has been fantastic against the spread all year. They are 18-10 ATS and 26-2 straight up in 2020-21. Their only losses came against Kansas and Oklahoma State, two ranked Big 12 teams who were bounced in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
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Why Houston Can Cover The Spread
Houston’s easy schedule has caused many people to doubt them, but that’s exactly what the Cougars want. Despite the fact that Houston is a two seed, there was heavy public interest in Rutgers, Syracuse, and Oregon State in recent rounds. Houston didn’t cover the spread in all of those games, but they managed to escape with the win all three times.
This time around, against Baylor, Houston will be the underdog. They are 3-1 ATS as an underdog this season. Even though that’s not a huge sample size, they have shown that they can hang when they are the underdog.
The Cougars rank second in defensive rating and second in opponent points per game this year. If they can slow the game down to the point where they are limiting Baylor’s possessions, they can definitely cover this 5.5-point spread. They might be able to pull off the upset if the defense plays well enough.
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Baylor vs. Houston Prediction
We love the run Houston has gone on to this point, but we can’t go against Baylor here. The Bears have been too strong all year and we expect them to stay hot by beating Houston and covering the spread. This is setting up for a Baylor-Gonzaga grudge match in the title game.
Pick: Baylor -5.5
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