March Madness Elite Eight Betting – All About the Houston Cougars
No one is going to argue very much with the notion that the Houston Cougars belong in the Elite Eight. In fact, they jumped through a rather significant hurdle to get to this point.
Here is a team that practically strangles teams when they try to shoot. They did that to Syracuse. And in the Elite Eight they will encounter a similarly hot team in the Oregon State Beavers.
That takes place Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium. game time is set for 7:15 PM ET, and here are the NCAA Tournament betting lines from the good folks at BetOnline, where you can wager on a ton of props for each of the games:
|Oregon||+8 (-110)||129½ (-110)||+290|
|Houston||-8 (-110)||129½ (-110)||-350|
So what exactly has Houston Cougars been able to do to get themselves into the nation’s top ten?
They have one of the nation’s best players
By almost any measuring stick, you’d have to say that Quentin Grimes is one of the best players in college basketball. He was the player of the year in the American Athletic Conference. And this year he became the first All-American for the Cougars since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984.
Grimes averaged 18 points and six rebounds. And the 6-5 guard has been on sort of a tear from long-range. In fact, over his last dozen games, he has made 48% of his three-point attempts. He’s a tremendous all-around player.
They defend…. ferociously
That’s not an exaggeration. The Cougars allow their opponents an Effective Field Goal percentage of only 42.9%. That is the best figure in the nation.
Whatever you want to do, they can thwart.They yield just 42.6% from two-point range, 29% from three-point land, and they seem to know who to foul, as opposing teams have shot just 66% from the line against them.
More ferocity – offensive rebounding
We’d be the first to admit that Houston Cougars is not a “lights-out” shooting team. They hit less than 50% from inside the arc, for example. But when they miss, it is clearly not the end of the story. They are second best in the nation when it comes to Offensive Rebounding Percentage. They pull down 39.5% of the available rebounds when they miss a shot.
Obviously, this coach has a plan
Kelvin Sampson saw his share of controversy when he was coach at Indiana. In fact, he got hit with a five-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA for recruiting violations.
He is now in his 14th NCAA Tournament, and he has made his gritty, defensive mark wherever he’s gone.
He really got some satisfaction in the Sweet Sixteen against Syracuse, who’d been handcuffing everybody with their matchup zone. Sampson had taken Oklahoma into the Elite Eight against Syracuse in 2003, and his team had been held to 47 points.
This time he decided that his team might have trouble shooting, but could make it worse for Syracuse. As a result, Buddy Boeheim, who had come into the game having made 24 of his last 43 triples, hit just one of nine. And Houston came out of it with a 62-46 win.
Naturally part of Sampson’s plan is to focus on Oregon State’s Ethan Thompson. Can he force the Beavers to try and beat his team another way?
And don’t forget…..
BetOnline has a lot of props to play on each of these NCAA tournament games, and don’t forget that Live Betting keeps you very involved in the action even after the opening tip….. You can also find an Odds Booster, which gives you explosive payouts on pre-selected parlays, every day of the week …. You can open your account virtually any way imaginable, and that includes a number of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin!