2019 NCAA Tournament bracket: Kentucky vs. Houston odds, picks, predictions, best bets from advanced model on 11-5 roll

No. 3 seed Houston aims to continue its dream season when it plays No. 2 seed Kentucky in the Sweet 16 on Friday. It's a 9:59 p.m. ET tipoff from the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The Wildcats have won nine of their last 11 following Saturday's 62-56 victory over Wofford. That came after Kentucky's 79-44 thrashing of Abilene Christian in the 2019 NCAA Tournament first round. Meanwhile, the Cougars cruised to a 29-point victory in their opener versus Georgia State before dispatching Ohio State, 74-59, in methodical fashion Sunday. Sportsbooks list the Wildcats as 2-point favorites in the latest Kentucky vs. Houston odds, with the over-under for total points set at 135. Before you make any Kentucky vs. Houston picks or 2019 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 predictions, see what the SportsLine Projection Model has to say.

This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, has raked in the winnings for those following its picks. Over the past two years, the SportsLine Projection Model has returned over $4,000 to $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks and entered the postseason on a strong 11-5 run on all top-rated college basketball plays. It's also on fire in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, calling all but two of the Sweet 16 teams this year. Anyone who has followed it is way up.

Now it has analyzed all relevant data and crunched the numbers for Kentucky vs. Houston. We can tell you it's leaning over, but it also has a very strong point-spread pick that hits in over 60 percent of simulations. That pick is only available at SportsLine. 

The model has taken into account that Kentucky enters Friday's Sweet 16 showdown as one of the hottest teams in the nation. The Wildcats feature an extremely suffocating defense that has given up an average of 50 points per game in their first two NCAA Tournament contests. Defense hasn't always been the calling card for John Calipari's team, however this year's squad has been suffocating their opponents which allows the Wildcats to control the tempo of the game. 

In addition to their smothering defense, the Wildcats are also surgical on the offensive end of the floor. In fact, Kentucky is knocking down 47.8 percent of its shots from the field. Plus, Kentucky is 23-3 vs. lower seeded teams under Calipari in NCAA Tournament action. 

But just because the Wildcats have been playing extremely well on both sides of the ball doesn't mean they will cover the Kentucky vs. Houston spread Friday.

The model has also taken into account that this is Houston's first Sweet 16 appearance in 25 years. They've done it thanks to a lockdown defense. The Cougars rank No. 1 in field goal percentage defense (36.7 percent), No. 1 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (27.8 percent) and No. 7 in scoring defense (61.0 points per game).

The Cougars offense also features a dynamic duo that can take over a game. Corey Davis Jr. (17.1 points per game) and Armoni Brooks (13.2) combine to average over 30 on a nightly basis for Houston and they've been lethal from behind the arc all season. In fact, both Davis Jr. and Brooks have each nailed more than 100 threes this season, while a total of four Cougars knock down 35 percent or more of their three-point attempts. That's because their focus is on shot quality on offense, which allows the Cougars to get high-quality looks from deep.

Who wins Kentucky vs. Houston? And which side of the spread cashes in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Kentucky vs. Houston spread you should be all over, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.

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