The No. 2 seeded Houston Cougars, who haven’t lost in over a month, look to stay hot when they take on the No. 10 seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights in NCAA Tournament Midwest Region second-round action on Sunday. The Cougars (25-3, 14-3), who have won eight in a row, have not lost since losing at Wichita State 68-63 on Feb. 18. The Scarlet Knights (16-11, 10-10), who are making their first tournament appearance in 30 years, are coming off their first tournament victory since 1983. Rutgers and Houston last met on Feb. 1, 2014, with the Scarlet Knights posting a 93-70 victory.

Tip-off from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is set for 7:10 p.m. ET. Rutgers is averaging 70 points per game, while Houston averages 77.6. The Cougars are 8.5-point favorites in the latest Rutgers vs. Houston odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 132. Before making any Houston vs. Rutgers picks, check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It has also returned almost $500 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Houston vs. Rutgers in the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Rutgers vs. Houston:

  • Rutgers vs. Houston spread: Houston -8.5
  • Rutgers vs. Houston over-under: 132 points
  • Rutgers vs. Houston money line: Rutgers +313, Houston -414
  • RUT: The Scarlet Knights are 11-1 when they score at least 70 points
  • HOU: The Cougars’ defense is holding opponents to a 37.1 field goal percentage, tops in the nation

Why Houston can cover 

Senior guard DeJon Jarreau is one of three Cougars who are averaging in double figures. Jarreau became the first Houston player since 1993 to record a triple-double when he finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Tulane on March 12. He has scored in double figures 13 times this season. In 27 games, he is averaging 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He is hitting on 44.3 percent of his field goals, including 36 percent from 3-point range, and 72.5 percent from the free throw line.

Also powering the Cougars is senior forward Justin Gorham, who is averaging 8.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He also has 21 steals on the year. In the tournament-opening win over Cleveland State, Gorham scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting with five rebounds. He totaled nine points with three rebounds and two steals in the AAC title game win over Cincinnati. He was named the conference’s Most Improved Player and earned All-AAC second-team honors.

Why Rutgers can cover

The Scarlet Knights have won three of four and are playing some of their best basketball of the season. A big reason for that is the play of Ron Harper Jr. The junior guard is averaging 15.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Although he scored just 10 points in the first-round win over Clemson, he has been on fire of late, scoring 21 points in the Big Ten quarterfinal loss to eventual tournament champion Illinois. He has also registered four double-doubles on the year. He scored a season-high 30 points against Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 27 and had 28 points in a win over Illinois on Dec. 20.

Senior guard Jacob Young is also a consistent contributor for Rutgers. He has scored 13 points in each of the past three games and has reached double figures a team-leading 23 times this season. He was named All-Big Ten honorable mention by the media and led the league in steals with 1.83 per game. He is ninth in the conference in field goal percentage (47.3) and 14th in scoring at 14.5 points per game. 

How to make Rutgers vs. Houston picks

The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 138 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Houston vs. Rutgers? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.

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