Houston vs. Cleveland State Picks & Best Bets — March Madness 2021

Posted By PlayPicks Staff on March 16, 2021 - Last Updated on March 17, 2021

The No. 2 Houston Cougars (24-3) are favorites to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament when they face off against the No. 15 Cleveland State Vikings (19-7) on Friday, starting at 7:15 PM ET on TRU. Here’s everything you need to know about this 2-15 matchup before filling out your bracket.

The betting insights and predictions in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of March 15, 2021, 4:10 PM ET. See table below for current betting odds and CLICK HERE to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Best Betting Odds

Computer Picks

Pick ATS: Houston Cougars (-20)

The line for this game set by DraftKings and the model’s prediction are essentially the same (within 0.5 points of each other).

Pick OU: Over (135)

In this matchup, the model projects a total (138.3 points) slightly higher than the DraftKings over/under (135 points).

Prediction: Houston 79, Cleveland State 59

Predictions are calculated by a data-driven algorithm (raw power score) that ranks head-to-head matchup results within a closed network of games. Prediction confidence is determined by the delta between each team’s raw power score.

Examining the Over/Under

  • The average implied total for the Cougars this season is 73.3 points, 4.7 fewer points than their implied total of 78 points in Friday’s game.
  • Houston has outscored this matchup’s implied point total (78) 10 times.
  • The 71.7-point average implied total on the season for the Vikings is 13.7 more points than the team’s 58-point implied total in this matchup.
  • Cleveland State has totaled more than 58 points in 24 games on the season.

Implied totals are projected point totals for each team based on totals and spreads set by sportsbooks.

Houston and Cleveland State Records ATS

ATS Record ATS Record Against 20+ Point Spread Over/Under Record (O-U-P)
Cougars 18-8 1-1 13-13
Vikings 17-8 0-0 13-12-1

Against The Spread (ATS) records are only reflective of games that had odds on them.

Betting Tips – Shooting Stats

  • The Cougars make 44.4% of their shots from the field this season, which is 2.1 percentage points higher than the Vikings have allowed to their opponents (42.3%).
  • Houston has compiled a 12-3 record against the spread and a 15-1 straight-up record in games it shoots higher than 42.3% from the field.
  • Cleveland State has put together a 12-4 record against the spread and a 12-4 record overall when its opponents make more than 44.4% of their shots from the field.
  • The Vikings’ 45.1% shooting percentage from the field this season is eight percentage points higher than the Cougars have given up to their opponents (37.1%).
  • Cleveland State is 19-5 overall and 17-6 against the spread when it shoots better than 37.1% from the field.
  • This season, Houston has a 22-2 straight up record and an 18-5 record against the spread when it allows opponents to shoot over 45.1% from the field.
  • The Cougars are hitting 36% of their three-point shots this season, 5.2% higher than the 30.8% the Vikings allow opponents to shoot from deep.
  • Houston is 19-1 overall and 16-3 against the spread when it shoots better than 30.8% from distance.
  • Cleveland State is 12-6 against the spread and 13-6 overall when its opponents hit more than 36% of their shots from deep.
  • The Vikings are making 31.9% of their shots from deep, which is 4.4 percentage points higher than the 27.5% the Cougars’ are averaging on the season.
  • Cleveland State has a 13-4 ATS record and is 15-3 straight-up in games when the team hits better than 27.5% of its three-point attempts.
  • Houston has a 14-3 ATS record and an 18-0 straight-up record in games this season when it hits more than 31.9% of its three-point attempts.
  • The Cougars make 9.3 three-pointers per game this season, 2.9 more made shots on average than the 6.4 per game the Vikings give up.
  • When Houston makes more threes than its opponents, it is 17-2 against the spread and 20-0 overall. When Cleveland State is out-shot from beyond the arc by its opponents, it is 7-5 ATS and 8-4 straight up.

Powered By Data Skrive using data from

PlayPicks Staff Avatar
Written by
PlayPicks Staff

PlayPicks staff has years of sports betting and DFS knowledge and we share all of that with you for free daily.

View all posts by PlayPicks Staff
Privacy Policy