Arizona vs. Houston Prediction and Odds for NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 (Cougars Can't Hit Clutch Free Throws)

Mar 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Houston Cougars guard Kyler Edwards (11) reacts after a play in
Mar 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Houston Cougars guard Kyler Edwards (11) reacts after a play in / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We are treated to a Final Four level matchup in Thursday's Sweet 16 action; as No. 1 seeded Arizona meets up against No. 4 Houston.

The story of this one is the No. 1 seed in the South Region, Arizona, escaping on Sunday night against TCU in overtime. The Wildcats looked a bit overwhelmed down the stretch, and can't afford to have that happen again. Houston, one of the most dangerous teams in the men's tournament, is looked at favorably by advanced metrics despite their pedestrian seed.

Here are the odds for the marquee matchup of the Sweet 16 from WynnBET Sportsbook:

Houston vs. Arizona Odds, Spread and Total


  • Houston: +2 (-110)
  • Arizona: -2 (-110)


  • Houston: +110
  • Arizona: -130

Total: 145 (Over -110/Under -110)

Houston vs. Arizona Analysis


  • Overall Record: 28-5
  • ATS Record:21-12
  • Over/Under Record: 15-18
  • SoS: 55th
  • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 117.2
  • Defensive Efficiency: 91.4
  • eFG%: 53.7%
  • FT%: 66.8%
  • 3PT%: 34.1%
  • Last Year’s Tournament Result: National Semi-Final
  • Odds to win National Championship: +850


  • Regular Season Record: 24-2
  • ATS Record:14-10-2
  • Over/Under Record: 13-13
  • SoS: 21st
  • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 118.9
  • Defensive Efficiency: 90.6
  • eFG%: 55.3%
  • FT%: 71.7%
  • 3PT%: 34.2%
  • Last Year’s Tournament Result: Ineligible
  • Odds to win National Championship: +650

Houston vs. Arizona Prediction and Pick

This is a treat for us college hoops fans as this is sure to be the highest level game to date. While Arizona is favored by a bucket, I'm not sure I can back them given the issues they had containing TCU on the offensive glass in the Round of 32.

The Horned Frogs posted a 40% offensive rebounding percentage (20) and got to the line 30 times. To be fair, TCU is the best offensive rebounding team in the country, but Houston is third and is far better on offense, 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency per KenPom.

The two teams play polar opposite styles. Arizona relies on their athleticism on the perimeter to run up and down the floor and use their skilled big men to finish inside (top five in 2-point percentage).

Meanwhile, the Cougars are bottom 25 in the country in adjusted tempo according to KenPom and shut off the interior for their opponents, top 10 in defending the interior and limit teams from scoring inside (19th lowest percentage of points allowed on 2's). Yes, Arizona is very skilled, but Houston is a souped up version of TCU, who just took them to overtime.

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson is a year removed from a Final Four appearance and has his team humming on both sides of the ball, while first year head coach Tommy Lloyd has a dynamic team that began to look a bit tight as we went into the final stages of the TCU game. If not for a Benedict Mathurin three from deep, the Wildcats would be eliminated.

I don't have a confident feel for this one, but a key point for me is the free throw shooting for Houston, 66% as a team and 327th in the nation and the team's suspect shot creation. Arizona has a stable of bigs that also contain the perimeter. Can Houston generate enough offense?

In a game that may have some nerves given the big game feel and the immense size of both teams, I'd lean towards the under.


You can find all of Reed's bets HERE!