Can the Pac-12’s most unlikely NCAA Tournament team keep its Cinderella run going?
No. 12 Oregon State will meet No. 2 Houston in the Midwest Region final on Monday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on CBS.
Houston (27-3) is trying to reach the Final Four for the first time since the program’s Phi Slama Jama heyday from 1982-84. Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson is looking to get to the Final Four for the first time since 2002.
Oregon State (19-12) is just the second No. 12 seed to reach the Elite Eight. Missouri made that round in 2002 before losing to Oklahoma. The Beavers remain on an impressive run under coach Wayne Tinkle that started in the Pac-12 Tournament. Oregon State has allowed 65.8 points per game in that stretch.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Houston vs. Oregon State in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the Elite Eight game.
Houston vs. Oregon State odds
- Spread: Houston -8
- Over/under: 130.5
- Moneyline: Houston -370, Oregon State. +295
Three betting trends to watch
— The Beavers are 22-9-1 ATS for the season, and they have covered the spread as an underdog in every game of their six-game win streak.
— That track record as an underdog is legit. Oregon State is 16-5 ATS as an underdog, and that includes a 5-0 ATS mark against teams ranked in the top 25.
— Houston is 19-9 ATS as a favorite this season and 10-0 S/U in nonconference games. The Cougars are 7-3 ATS through their 10-game winning streak.
Oregon State key players
Senior guard Ethan Thompson leads Oregon State with 15.6 points and 3.8 assists per game. That average has ticked up to 20.3 points per game in the tournament. He’s also 25 for 26 from the free throw line in the tournament. Sophomore guard Jarod Lucas contributes 13 points per game, and Warith Alatishe averages 9.5 points and 8.6 boards. Senior guard Zach Reichle is an excellent role player with 7.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
Houston key players
Cougars junior guard Quentin Grimes is an all-around force. He averages 18.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He led Houston with 14 points in its Sweet 16 victory over Syracuse. Guard Marcus Sasser adds 13.3 points per game, and senior Dejon Jarreau contributes 10.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Houston is a strong perimeter team, but the offense flows through Grimes. Justin Gorham is another interior presence.
Best individual matchup: Thompson vs. Grimes
Can Houston force Thompson to be more of a facilitator than a scorer? Thompson has 12 games with five or more assists, and the Beavers were 6-6 in those games. Grimes, meanwhile, is Houston’s lead scoring option and a matchup problem. The Cougars are 12-0 when he scores 20 or more. Can Thompson match Grimes’ scoring? That’s the big question for Oregon State.
Houston vs. Oregon State stat to know
The Beavers have been outstanding on defense throughout the tournament, but Houston’s defense has been better. The Cougars have allowed just 57 points per game in their last six games, and Memphis is the only team in that span to score more than 70. Oregon State has allowed 65.8 points per game in the same stretch, but a slower tempo would favor Houston in this game. This game needs to played in the 70s for Oregon State to win, and that will be a challenge considering how Houston has handled the last three double-digit seeds in the tournament.
Get to know . . . Dejon Jarreau
Houston’s 6-5 senior is battling through a hip injury but he played against Syracuse in the Sweet 16. He was a valuable contributor with nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Jarreau is a distributor and one of Houston’s emotional leaders. Keep an eye on the hip injury, but expect Jarreau to be the same type of playmaker in the Elite Eight.
Houston vs. Oregon State prediction
The Beavers have been a fantastic story in the tournament, and Thompson can keep them in this game in the first half. Oregon State needs to force double-digit turnovers, however, and Houston will not allow that to happen. Grimes takes over in the second half and Houston’s offensive balance makes the difference. The Cougars take care of business and advance to the Final Four.
Final score: Houston 71, Oregon State 62