Houston vs. Northern Kentucky prediction, odds: 2023 NCAA Tournament picks, March Madness bets by proven model


The No. 16 seed Northern Kentucky Norse and the No. 1 seed Houston Cougars match up in a first-round tilt in the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Thursday evening. The Norse finished the campaign on a five-game win streak, defeating Cleveland State 63-61 in the Horizon League Championship. On the other side, Houston had its 13-game win streak halted. On March 12, Memphis beat the Cougars 75-65 in the AAC Tournament title game.

Tipoff from Legacy Arena at BJCC in Birmingham is set for 9:20 p.m. ET. The Cougars are 18-point favorites in the latest Northern Kentucky vs. Houston odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 121.5. Before making any Houston vs. Northern Kentucky picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Houston vs. Northern Kentucky and revealed its coveted picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament 2023. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Northern Kentucky vs. Houston:

  • Houston vs. Northern Kentucky: Cougars -18
  • Houston vs. Northern Kentucky over/under: 121.5 points
  • Houston vs. Northern Kentucky money line: Cougars -2400, Norse +1150
  • NKU: Norse are 4-0 ATS in their last four Thursday games
  • HOU: Over is 4-0 in Cougars’ last four Thursday games
  • Houston vs. Northern Kentucky picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why Houston can cover

Senior guard Marcus Sasser is questionable with a groin injury, but he’ll provide Houston with a big lift if he can go. Sasser operates well off the dribble and is able to shoot on the move. The Texas native owns a superb shooting range and will let it fly constantly. Sasser is leading the squad in scoring (17.1) with 3.2 assists per game. On March 2 against Wichita State, Sasser had 22 points, four assists and two steals.

Freshman forward Jarace Walker is a powerful and versatile player in the frontcourt who can step up if Sasser is out. Walker uses his strength to win battles in the lane for boards and efficient looks at the rim. The Pennsylvania native logs 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. In the March 11 contest against Cincinnati, Walker tallied 13 points, eight rebounds, and two steals.

Why Northern Kentucky can cover 

Junior guard Marques Warrick is a smooth and reliable three-level scorer. Warrick owns the ball skills and shot-making ability to be an asset offensively. The Kentucky native is averaging a team-best 19.1 points with 2.7 assists per game while shooting 39% from downtown. On March 2 against Oakland, he scored 22 points and went 5-of-7 from 3-point land.

Sophomore guard Sam Vinson has been an active and agile player in the backcourt. Vinson attacks the rim with force and has a knack for absorbing contact. The Kentucky native puts up 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He has scored at least 16 points in three of his last four games. In his last contest against Cleveland State, Vinson amassed 16 points, five rebounds and three steals.

How to make Northern Kentucky vs. Houston picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 135 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time. You can see the model’s picks at SportsLine.

So who wins Houston vs. Northern Kentucky? And which side of the spread hits almost 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.

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