College basketball best bets for Monday, 2/19: Houston Cougars exacts revenge at home

Photo of Caleb Wilfinger

Caleb Wilfinger


Show Bio

Deputy Editor for Pickswise with years of experience handicapping and giving out winning picks. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC. For Caleb Wilfinger media enquiries, please email
Read more about Caleb Wilfinger

The college basketball season is in full swing and after a wild weekend slate that featured a number of showdowns between Top-25 teams, Monday’s slate is much tamer by comparison. However, there are still some compelling matchups between NCAA Tournament teams, including a marquee contest in the Big 12 between Iowa State and Houston. While the college hoops market is as sharp as it has ever been, there are still a few good value bets to take advantage of. Let’s take a look at my best bet for these games on Monday, but make sure you also check out our college basketball picks for the biggest games of the day.

Houston Cougars -8.5 over Iowa State Cyclones (-110)

Odds available at BetMGM at time of publishing. Playable to Houston -9.5

This is sure to be a popular spot for college hoops bettors to back one of the best teams in the nation at home, and I’m more than happy to hop on the Houston train on Big Monday. When the Cougars are at home, the best course of action is to lay the points — regardless of whatever the number is — and get it out of the way. Not only is Houston undefeated at the Fertitta Center this season, but Kelvin Sampson’s team also boasts an 11-4 record against the spread at home this season. What’s more is the Cougars will be opposing an Iowa State side that is a much stronger team at home, having already upset Houston back on January 9.

This is a perfect revenge spot for a Cougars team that shoots much better at home and likely won’t find themselves in the same free-throw disadvantage as they did in the previous meeting. Positive shooting regression is certainly coming for the hosts, who shot just 7-of-26 from beyond the arc in the first meeting. Given that the Cyclones allow nearly a quarter of all threes to be open, it can be expected that the Cougars will shoot much better than 27% in their building. And even though Iowa State’s offense has been better on the road in recent outings, the Cyclones are still going up against the No. 1 defense in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency at KenPon, including top 5 marks in turnover rate and 2-point defense. Houston is not only undefeated at home, but the Cougars have also won every game by double digits in their building. I expect that trend to continue on Monday.

Read our full Iowa State Cyclones vs Houston Cougars predictions

By signing up you agree to our terms and privacy policy