NCAA Tournament First Round Betting Pick: Houston Cougars vs. Georgia State Panthers

On Friday night, the Houston Cougars will take on the Georgia St Panthers in a 3 vs. 14 matchup in the NCAA tournament. Houston won the AAC regular season and finished with a 31-3 record. Georgia St finished with a 24-9 record and finished in 1st place in the Sun Belt.

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Houston Trying to Recover from Loss

Houston is coming off a 69-57 loss to Cincinnati in the championship game of their conference tournament. The Cougars trailed by just 3 in the second half but faced a double-digit deficit for a large majority of the second frame. Armoni Brooks led the way for the Cougars with 17 points on 7 of 17 shooting to go with 5 rebounds. Corey Davis Jr. tallied 12 points on just 3 of 13 shooting, and Galen Robinson Jr. added 9 points. Chris Harris Jr. led the team in rebounds with 8 to go along with just 2 points.

Georgia St is coming off a 73-64 win over Texas Arlington in their conference championship game to earn a bid into the tournament. Malik Benlevi led the way for the Panthers with 16 points on 4 of 7 shooting to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds. Damon Wilson was the next highest scorer with 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting. Kane Williams led the team in assists with 5 and scored 12 points on just 2 of 8 shooting. Jeff Thomas chipped in 11 points on 2 of 7 shooting, and D’Marcus Simonds added 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Good Scoring on Both Teams

Houston is led by Corey Davis Jr., who is averaging 16.7 points a game to go with 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Armoni Brooks scores 13.6 points a game to go along with 6.5 rebounds which leads the team and is the leading 3-point shooter at 39.3%. Dejon Jarreau pours in 8.9 points to go along with 3.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game. Galen Robinson Jr. leads the team in assists with 4.9 a game to go along with 8 points and 3.1 rebounds. The Cougars score 76.2 points a game on 44.9% shooting from the field.

Georgia St is led by D’Marcus Simonds, who is averaging 18.4 points per game to go along with 5 rebounds and a team-high 3.7 assists. Devin Mitchell scores 12.2 points per game and is shooting 42.9% from deep. Malik Benlevi tallies 12.1 points per game and is the leading rebounder with 5.8 per game. Jeff Thomas adds 11.7 a game and Kane Williams chips in 11.3 each contest. Thomas adds 4.5 rebounds, and Williams adds 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. The Panthers average 77.2 points a game and are shooting 46.6% from the field.

Take Houston

Houston comes in at -12. Obviously, Georgia St is facing a huge step up in competition in this game as they are facing a Houston team that has been ranked all season long. Houston is coming off a poor performance against Cincinnati but is loaded with talent and are poised for a deep run. Even though Georgia St has some solid scorers, Houston will be too athletic for them to handle. Georgia St will not be able to stop the Cougars defensively, and the Cougars will have their way with them. Take Houston -12.

  • Bet on Houston -12

  • Bet on Georgia State +12

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