Houston vs Northern Kentucky Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for March 16 NCAA Tournament Game (Cougars' D Shows Up)

Houston vs Northern Kentucky Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for March 16 NCAA Tournament Game (Cougars' D Shows Up)


Houston vs Northern Kentucky Game Info

  • 2022-23 NCAA Tournament Game
  • No. 1 Houston (31-3) vs. Northern Kentucky (22-12)
  • Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023
  • Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Legacy Arena at BJCC -- Birmingham, Alabama
  • Coverage: TNT

Thursday, March 16's 2022-23 NCAA Tournament schedule features a first-round matchup in the Midwest Region between the No. 1 Houston Cougars and No. 16 North Kentucky Norse.

Houston rode a 13-game winning streak into its AAC Championship Game matchup with Memphis, only to be halted with a shocking 75-65 loss. Meanwhile, Northern Kentucky captured the Horizon League Championship with a 63-61 effort against Cleveland State, marking the Norse's fifth straight victory in the process.

Can Houston hit its stride again? Or will Northern Kentucky send the Midwest Region's top seed home?

Houston vs Northern Kentucky Odds & Spread

Houston enters this contest as a massive favorite on the moneyline and spread per FanDuel Sportsbook's odds. This 9:20 p.m. ET clash also features an over/under of 122.5 points with both sides sitting at -110 odds.

Houston vs Northern Kentucky Betting Trends

  • Houston's record against the spread is 18-16-0.
  • The Cougars are 10-4 as 19.5-point favorites or more.
  • Houston has seen 16 of its 34 games go over the point total.
  • Northern Kentucky's record against the spread is 14-18-0.
  • Northern Kentucky has seen 12 of its 32 games hit the over.
Houston Rank Houston AVG Northern Kentucky AVG Northern Kentucky Rank
99th 75.0 Points Scored 68.2 271st
2nd 56.5 Points Allowed 63.6 28th
12th 35.9 Rebounds 30.4 263rd
6th 11.6 Off. Rebounds 9.9 62nd
126th 7.8 3pt Made 8.2 87th
59th 14.8 Assists 13.6 136th
10th 9.4 Turnovers 10.7 58th

Houston vs Northern Kentucky Prediction & Pick

After Houston was embarrassed by Memphis, I fully expect a bounce-back performance at Legacy Arena. For starters, the Cougars have the defensive edge. While Northern Kentucky only surrenders 64.7 PPG (No. 34) on 44.2% shooting (No. 172), Houston gives up just the second-fewest points (56.5 PPG) on the lowest field-goal percentage allowed (36.4%) in college basketball.

Even if Northern Kentucky somehow finds offensive success, Houston has it beat there, too. The Cougars sit in the top 90 when it comes to both points scored and field-goal percentages, whereas the Norse are a bottom-100 group in both categories.

The Cougars will also make the Norse pay for any missed shots. Houston averages 38.8 rebounds per contest (No. 14), whereas Northern Kentucky produces just 31.9 RPG (T-No. 302).

Don't overthink this game: Houston will re-establish its dominance before moving on.

Final Score Prediction: Houston: 78 | Northern Kentucky: 61

Houston vs Northern Kentucky Best Bet

Houston will win this game with ease, but don't count on it covering the spread. Not only have the Cougars gone 1-5 ATS in their last six outings, but they've failed to cover in four of their last five as the favorite. On the flip side, Northern Kentucky is 7-1 ATS in its last eight contests, as well as 4-1 ATS in its last five away from home on a Thursday.

After Houston showed some vulnerability against Missouri, expect Northern Kentucky to keep things slightly closer than the odds imply.

Bet: Northern Kentucky +19.5 (-110)

Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.