Houston vs Northern Kentucky Prediction: Live Odds, Stats, History & Picks – Thursday, March 16, 2023

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A first-round NCAA Tournament matchup will see the 16th-seeded Northern Kentucky Norse (22-12) play against the No. 1 seed Houston Cougars (31-3) on Thursday at Legacy Arena at BJCC. The contest starts at 9:20 PM.

The Cougars are currently enormous 19-point favorites over the Norse. The matchup’s over/under is 121.5.

Houston vs. Northern Kentucky Odds

Point Spread for Houston vs. Northern Kentucky

The spread for this matchup is set at 19 points, with oddsmakers listing Houston as the favorite.

Houston vs. Northern Kentucky Moneyline

As for the moneyline, Houston has -4038 odds to pick up the win, while Northern Kentucky is listed at +1442 to claim victory.


Finally, the over/under for the game is set at 121.5 points.

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Game Time and How to Watch

  • Game Day: Thursday, March 16, 2023
  • Game Time: 9:20 PM ET
  • TV Channel: TNT
  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Arena: Legacy Arena at BJCC

Houston vs. Northern Kentucky Betting Trends

Houston has 18 wins against the spread in 34 games this season. The Cougars have been favorites in 29 games this season and have come away with the win 26 times (89.7%) in those contests. Houston’s games this year have hit the over 15 times in 32 opportunities (46.9%).

Against the spread, Northern Kentucky is 14-18-0 this season. The Norse have been the moneyline underdog 10 total times this season. They’ve gone 4-6 in those games. Northern Kentucky’s games this year have hit the over 12 times in 32 opportunities (37.5%).

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Houston vs. Northern Kentucky Key Players to Watch


Marcus Sasser leads the Cougars at 17.1 points per game, while also averaging 3.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds. J’wan Roberts paces the Cougars at 7.7 rebounds per game, while also posting 1.1 assists and 10.4 points. Jamal Shead posts a team-high 5.4 assists per contest. He is also posting 10.3 points and 3 rebounds, shooting 41.5% from the field and 32.6% from beyond the arc with 1.3 made 3-pointers per game. Jarace Walker puts up 11.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. At the other end, he puts up 1 steal and 1 block.

Northern Kentucky

Marques Warrick tops the Norse in scoring (19.1 points per game), and produces 2.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He also averages 1.3 steals and 0.3 blocked shots. Sam Vinson is averaging 11.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest, making 39.6% of his shots from the floor and 33.3% from 3-point range, with 1.5 triples per contest. Chris Brandon tops the Norse in rebounding (9.8 per game), and puts up 6.8 points and 0.8 assists. He also puts up 1 steal and 0.7 blocked shots. Xavier Rhodes leads the Norse in assists (3.7 per game), and averages 7.7 points and 2.3 rebounds. He also averages 2 steals and 0.2 blocked shots.

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What you need to know about the Houston Cougars

The Cougars are putting up 75 points per game this season (99th-ranked in college basketball), but they’ve really provided a lift on defense, allowing only 56.5 points per game (second-best). Houston is thriving in terms of rebounding, as it ranks 12th-best in college basketball in boards (35.9 per game) and 15th-best in boards allowed (27.4 per contest).

Houston ranks 126th in the nation with 7.8 treys per game this season. Meanwhile, it ranks 166th with a 34.5% shooting percentage from three-point land. With a 27.8% three-point percentage allowed this season, the Cougars are second-best in the nation. They rank 64th in college basketball by ceding 6.3 treys per contest.

The Cougars have gone 9-1 over their last 10 games, with a 3-6-1 record against the spread in that span. In its past 10 contests, Houston has gone over the total four times. Houston has seen a downturn in scoring lately, putting up 74.1 points per game in its last 10 contests, 0.9 points fewer than the 75 it has scored this season. Houston’s defense has been less stingy as of late, as the team has allowed 58.7 points per game during its past 10 compared to the 56.5 points per game its opponents average this season.

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What you need to know about the Northern Kentucky Norse

Offensively the Norse are the 273rd-ranked team in college basketball (68.2 points per game). Defensively they are 29th (63.6 points conceded per game). Northern Kentucky grabs 30.4 rebounds per game and concede 30.3 boards, ranking 263rd and 129th, respectively, in the nation.

Beyond the arc, Northern Kentucky is 86th in the nation in 3-pointers made per game (8.2). It is 135th in 3-point percentage at 35%. Defensively, the Norse are 203rd in the nation in 3-pointers conceded per game at 7.4. They are 329th in 3-point percentage allowed at 36.5%.

The Norse have gone 7-3 in their past 10 contests, with a 7-3 record against the spread during that span. Northern Kentucky has gone over the total in four of its past 10 outings. Northern Kentucky is posting 69.7 points per game over its past 10 games, compared to its season average of 68.2. Over their last 10 games, the Norse are allowing 64.9 points per contest, 1.3 more points than their season average (63.6).

Houston vs. Northern Kentucky Prediction & Pick

Our prediction to win this matchup is Houston, and we project that Houston will cover the spread (Houston -19). Finally, we see the scoring in this one going over the posted total of 121.5 points.

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How to bet Houston vs. Northern Kentucky

You can bet on Houston vs. Northern Kentucky at every legal online sportsbook. For more college basketball odds, including moneylines, spreads, over/under totals, check out the latest NCAA lines as well as our guide to the best college basketball betting sites.

And if you wanted to check out how much you could win on a $10 bet if you parlayed today’s Houston vs. Northern Kentucky picks, don’t forget to check out our free parlay calculator.

Not sure what a parlay is? Or even how to bet on college basketball? Check out our complete guide to sports betting.


Matt Rooney

Matt comes from Chicago and has lived in the area his whole life. Graduated from and played football at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL while also serving as the director of student sports broadcasting. He writes for Betsperts as well as appears on several shows across the network.

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