The Aggies had a strong start to the season, going 6-1 over their first seven games and covering the spread five times. Texas A&M is 1-2 in their last three games, only covering one spread to bring their season record to 7-3. Houston has had a perfect start to the season, with a 10-0 record.
The Cougars have played even better lately, staying undefeated and covering the spread in four of their last six contests. Houston’s defense is also elite, with only two of their 10 games hitting the OVER for total points. That is the opposite of Texas A&M, which leans more on their offense — the OVER has hit in seven of their 10 matchups.
Here are the live odds, team betting news, best value team futures and our betting prediction for Houston vs. Texas A&M matchup on Saturday.
Live odds for Houston vs. Texas A&M
Check out the Houston vs. Texas A&M live odds for the spread, moneyline and total points available at the best online sportsbooks.
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Texas A&M Aggies betting news
The Aggies need to get back on track after losing two of three, but they’re coming into this one as an underdog facing one of their most difficult matchups of the season.
The offense has been excellent almost all season, ranking eighth on Kenpom for adjusted offensive efficiency. The defense is not bad and has had some bright moments. They currently rank 71st for adjusted defensive efficiency. What should help keep their game close against Houston is that the Aggies are 324th for adjusted tempo. The Cougars are only a few spots ahead at 320th, and a matchup with two very slow-paced teams makes it difficult for either team to build a significant lead.
Texas A&M will lean on their three players scoring in double digits. Leading scorer Wade Taylor IV averages 17.1 points per game and leads the team in assists, averaging 4.9. Taylor could be more efficient and is scoring the ball more due to volume rather than taking good shots. While he leads the team in scoring, he only shoots 37.3% from the field and 25.4% from three.
Second-leading scorer Henry Coleman III needs to force more shots, and the Aggies would be wise to get him more looks on the offense. Coleman averages 13.3 PPG and leads the team with 8.8 rebounds nightly. He shoots 65.% from the field and 86.7% from the free throw line.
The third player averaging double digits for Texas A&M is Tyrece Radford (12.3 PPG). He suffers from some of the same issues that Wade Taylor does: inefficiency and poor shooting percentages. Radford is slightly better from the field but only shoots 45.3% from the field and is worse from three at 25%.
Texas A&M Aggies team futures
The Aggies’ odds have dipped during their recent run of poor play, but the sportsbooks still think highly of them as they have some of the best odds to win the SEC and are in the top 20 of all teams to make a Final Four or win a National Championship. To reach any of these goals, Texas A&M will have to get their offense to be better at hitting shots. Wade Taylor has double the field goal attempts of the next-closest player, and with his shooting percentage, it would be wise to find more efficient scorers.
Houston Cougars betting news
The Cougars are one of only seven undefeated teams remaining in the country. They rank 18th for adjusted offensive efficiency on Kenpom and are No. 1 by a wide margin for adjusted defensive efficiency.
Still, Houston has yet to play very strong competition this season, ranking 263rd in adjusted strength of schedule rating. The positive to take, even from a weak schedule up to this point, is that the Cougars have been able to avoid a letdown game even as favorites every time out.
Over the last six games, though, the Cougars have played even better, not only winning but covering the spread four times. It will be good to see the Cougars finally get a real challenge, as they have yet to play a team ranked in the top 25 on Kenpom or in the AP Poll.
The Cougars share some similarities with Texas A&M, as their top scorer could have been more efficient from the field. LJ Cryer is scoring 17.8 PPG but has a 43.3% field goal percentage. What he does much better than Wade Taylor IV, though, is shoot the three. Cryer has a 39.8% three-point shooting percentage.
The Cougars have good scoring balance behind Cryer, with four other players averaging between eight and 12.9 PPG. J’Wan Roberts has played a significant role in leading the team in rebounding with 7.3 a game. Roberts has one double-double this season and only has one game with 10 shot attempts. He has played his role unselfishly, delivering solid stat lines nightly without requiring a lot of touches, while he also is one of the Cougars’ best defenders in the frontcourt even though he is a little undersized at 6-foot-7.
The last but perhaps most important player for Houston is Jamal Shead, who is third in scoring (9.1 PPG) and leads the team in assists (6.2 APG). Shead has scored in double figures in Houston’s games against decent competition like Xavier (13 points), Dayton (16 points) and Utah (14 points).
Houston Cougars team futures
Houston has been nationally relevant for the past several seasons and has National Championship aspirations. The Cougars have consistently come up short for various reasons in the NCAA Tournament over the past few years. Whether it was injuries to stars, foul trouble or a bad game, they have had their tournament run cut shorter than most expected the last few seasons.
Houston vs. Texas A&M prediction: Houston wins The Halal Guys Showcase but Texas A&M covers
The Halal Guys Showcase could be an exhilarating contest, with Houston and Texas A&M coming in with very solid teams. It would not be unfair to think the Aggies would be undefeated if they traded schedules. For Houston, though, who has not yet played much competition, this game will be a measuring stick for how good they actually are.
Houston has a top-five ranking, and beating the Aggies will confirm their status. A loss does not change much but will give the Cougars insight into where they need to improve to be better come NCAA Tournament time. With both teams playing at a slow tempo, do not expect either to win by a large margin. Because of that, even though we like Houston to win, Texas A&M will keep it close enough to cover the spread.
Pick: Texas A&M