The 13th seed Houston Cougars are set to try and upset the #4 Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the 2010 March Madness Tournament. Tip off for this game is scheduled for 9:50 PM ET from Spokane, Washington. Houston (19-15) finished the regular season with a 7-9 record and lost 4 of its last 6 Conference games. The odds were slim that the Cougars were going to clinch a berth into this tournament, considering they needed to win the Conference USA Tournament in order to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars did just that, shocking #1 seed UTEP in the final game to clinch a berth in this tournament. However, Maryland is a much better team than those of Conference USA, with a 23-8 record coming out of the ACC. The Terrapins were never ranked as high as Duke all season long, but they managed to battle hard enough to tie the Blue Devils for the ACC regular season Conference title, and even beat Duke late in the season. However, a disappointing quarterfinal loss to Georgia in the ACC Conference Tournament has many questioning whether Maryland has a good shot or not to advance through this tournament. The good news for Maryland is that they have the ACC player of the year on their team, Guard Greivis Vasquez who has led the way for the Terrapins all season long. The much inspired Houston Cougars are likely to throw in their best effort to date, but whether it will be enough to upset the heavily favored Terrapins is an entirely different question.
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Houston vs. Maryland Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
Houston +9.5 (-110)
vs. Maryland -9.5 (-110)
Over 156 (-110)
Under 156 (-110)
Houston vs. Maryland Betting Predictions:
Spread/Line Predictions – Take the Houston Cougars to beat the 9.5 point spread. The Cougars have never been as confident this season as they are coming into this tournament. They surprisingly marched their way through the Conference USA Tournament, and could be a threat to upset the Terrapins. The Cougars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games. The Terrapins against the spread numbers do not look promising for this first round game. Maryland is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-Conference games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite, and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games. Look for the Cougars to keep this game closer than expected.
Over/Under Prediction – Take the OVER 156 total points in tonight’s game. The OVER is 6-1-1 in the Cougars last 8 games overall, and 4-1 in the Cougars last 5 games following a straight up win. Looking at the Terrapins, the OVER is 6-1 in their last 7 non-Conference games, and 5-1 in their last 6 games overall. Lean towards the OVER in tonight’s game from Washington.