The Houston Cougars and Alabama Crimson Tide meet on the hardwood for a nightcap at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is out to show that they belong with the big boys in the NCAA, and can knock off a ranked team for the second time in a week.
They have been off since beating the Gonzaga Bulldogs by a score of 91-82 last week. The Crimson Tide had an extended break to prepare for Houston tonight. As a result of their win against Gonzaga, they advanced to 7-1 and up to No. 9 in the AP Top 25.
ALABAMA IS UP 16 AT THE HALF OVER GONZAGA‼️
Jaden Shackelford with a 20-PIECE going into the break ? pic.twitter.com/HcOGdjMrJ9
— ESPN (@espn) December 5, 2021
Alabama has five spots on the 8-1 Cougars, who are coming off a 77-45 win over Alcorn State on Monday. It’s their fourth straight win after a 65-63 loss on a neutral site versus the Wisconsin Badgers on November 23. Their best win is a 78-49 win over the Oregon Ducks the next day.
Their offense has been on fire since that win with no less than 77 points scored in four straight games. That kind of form is going to carry Houston long if it can hold. We know that the Cougars are capable of playing defense.
This is by far the biggest test that the Houston defense will see so far this season. The Crimson Tide with their three-guard combo of Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly, and Keon Ellis have been steamrolling teams, including a good Gonzaga team last weekend in Seattle on a neutral court.
Alabama couldn’t miss down the stretch, with Shackelford scoring 28 points and Quinerly going for 17 points in the win. The Bulldogs just couldn’t keep up with the hot hand of the Crimson Tide. They’re back home and looking to prove something in Tuscaloosa against the Cougs. Head below for our free Houston vs. Alabama pick on December 11, 2021.
Houston Cougars vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Houston Cougars||+3 (-110)||+140||Over 146 (-110)|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||-3 (-110)||-160||Under 146 (-110)|
|Team Data||Houston Cougars||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Points Per Game||80.0||86.4|
|Points Against Per Game||53.4||71.0|
|Field Goal %||49.6||47.7|
|Three Point %||38.4||34.7|
Houston vs. Alabama Prediction:
Alabama can score at will, but they are going to have to tighten up on the other side of the floor in March. On a neutral court if I’m betting on a team to get a stop, my money is on Houston and not Alabama.
It may not matter tonight in Tuscaloosa, but the Crimson Tide need more defensively. The Crimson Tide are 245th in the NCAA with 71 points allowed per game. This is a team that hasn’t played the toughest of schedules so far and gotten into SEC play.
South Dakota State scored 88 on Alabama, Gonzaga scored 82, while Iona and Drake both put in more than 70 points. If Alabama is just going to run teams off the floor, it’s not going to matter right now, though.
The Crimson Tide are sixth in the country with 86.4 points scored per game. At home their scoring has gone up to 89 points a game.
Their three guards are terrific and tough to stop, and then Alabama is a team that picks up plenty of second chance opportunities. They are fourth in the country in offensive rebounding.
Houston Cougars vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Trends:
- 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games
- 11-3 ATS in their previous 14 games as an underdog
- 9-3 ATS in their previous 12 games as an underdog on the road
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games after a win
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games on a Saturday
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games at Alabama
- OVER is 7-3 in their previous ten games
- OVER is 5-2 in their previous seven games at Tuscaloosa
- OVER is 6-1 in their previous seven games after scoring more than 90 points
With this one at home in Tuscaloosa, I have some confidence in Alabama running their offense and finding their spots. If that’s what Alabama does, it’s not to say that the Cougars can’t keep pace.
Houston has established themselves as a defensive team over the past several years, but their offense can score as well. The Cougars are 42nd in the NCAA with 80.8 points per game, and shooting 49.6% from the field for 17th.
They are also one of the better teams in the nation from beyond the arc, with a three-point percentage of 38.4%. You have to believe that Houston can score on the Crimson Tide defense.
CAREER NIGHT for Jaden Shackelford as Bama defeats No. 3 Gonzaga ⚡
? 28 Pts
? 9 Reb
? 6-8 3-Pt FG pic.twitter.com/7QEQRsl2mq
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 5, 2021
With how hot Alabama is from the field, they are likely going to have to go into offensive mode. As well as Houston can play on defense, it’s going to be tough for them to keep up with Jaden Shackelford and the two other Bama guards.
It’s never a bad option to go with the OVER in an Alabama game with the total below 150 points. It could be a slow start, but the offenses should open up in the second-half for a 78-75 final or thereabout.