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NCAA Tournament Betting Pick & Prediction: Houston Cougars vs. Miami Hurricanes - March 24, 2023

March 24, 2023

The 5th-seeded Miami Hurricanes are set to battle the top-seeded Houston Cougars in the midwest region of the Sweet 16 on Friday night inside the T-Mobile Center, in Kansas City, Mo. They tip it off at 7:15 pm and the Cougars are favored by seven points in this clash.Miami Hurricanes Betting PreviewThe Hurricanes (27-7) are fresh off an upset win over 4th-seeded Indiana, 85-69, in the second round to advance to this point and they will need a big-time effort and performance against the Cougars if they were to pull off their second straight upset in this tournament.Miami was paced by the brilliant guard Isaiah Wong, who exploded for a team-high and game-high 27 points in the massive win. He ended 9-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and he also knocked down his free throws as he finished 5-of-5 from the line. Miami would like to see him take the ball to the rim more against the Cougars and see if he can draw contact and get to the line more than five times in this clash. As a whole, the Hurricanes ended 8-of-13 from the line and will have to figure out a way to get cheap and easy points against a very good Houston defense. Miami averages around 79 points per game and they shoot a red-hot 48% from the floor, including a decent 37% from beyond the arc. They will look for Wong to create some spacing on the floor and try to get fellow guard and senior teammate Jordan Miller involved early too. Miler averages around 15 points and six rebounds. Also, look for forward Norchad Omier to get into the flow of the offense as he has proven to be a walking double-double for the Hurricanes this season. He nets 13 points and does a great job on the boards as he grabs a team-high 10 a game.Houston Cougars Betting PreviewThe Cougars (33-3) have had a great season and anything less than a Final Four appearance would be considered a disappointing end to a remarkable season. But the 30 plus wins would mean nothing if they do not advance. Miami is a dangerous team and the Cougars are not taking them lightly. Houston had no issues with the Auburn Tigers as they ripped into them in the second round and won a decisive game 81-64. They were not really tested and were able to pull away in the 2nd half en route to the 17-point win. Look for the Cougars to slow down the guards of Miami, which means they might want to slow down the pace and the tempo of this game. They do not want to allow Wong to get easy buckets and will try to slow him down with their half court press and defense. If the Cougars can get some early steals and turnovers they can control and dictate the pace and win this game. Game Odds, Series Trends and Free PickThe Cougars are 5-0 in their last five games and 1-4 in their last five games against the number and 8-4 in their road games against the spread too. The totals have gone over in just one of their last five games and eight of their last 21 games at home. The Hurricanes are 3-2 in their last five games and 1-4 in their last five games against the number and a solid 9-2 in their road games against the spread. The totals might not be in play here as the totals have gone over in two of Miami's last five games and 12 of their last 21 games at home.Persian Pick: Houston Cougars - 7 1/2