Free College Basketball Picks: UConn Huskies at Temple Owls Odds and Predictions
by George Monroy - 2/19/2014
Senior guard Shabazz Napier had the game of his life for the No. 21 Connecticut Huskies on Saturday, scoring 34 points during the team’s thrilling five-point overtime victory against the No. 20 Memphis Tigers. Connecticut showcased its talented backcourt during the matchup as Ryan Boatright also added 21 points and six assists for the Huskies. The team has six more games left to on its schedule—three of them against ranked opponents, which will provide Connecticut an excellent opportunity to move up the AP poll and secure prime seeding once the NCAA Tournament begins.
The Temple Owls have been atrocious during conference play, winning only two games in 12 tries so far this season. Temple, however, is coming off its biggest win of the year as the team managed to upset the No. 23 SMU Mustangs this past weekend. The Owls are set to play three ranked teams over the next week, and they may have a chance to at least salvage some of their season with an upset or two in that span. Let’s take a closer look at Thursday’s matchup between Connecticut and Temple with free college basketball picks and analysis.
UConn Huskies at Temple Owls Betting Story Lines
Connecticut’s starting backcourt of Napier and Boatright are peaking at just the right time. The pair combined for 55 points, 10 assists, six steals and hit 20 free throws in the team’s second victory of the year over Memphis. The Huskies are the 63rd-highest-scoring team in the nation, averaging 76 points per contest, and they shoot an excellent percentage from the field. Overall, the squad has three double-digit scorers and is being led by the 18 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists from Napier. Six-foot-nine forward, DeAndre Daniels also provides excellent production with 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Connecticut is 13-10 ATS on the season, but it has managed to cover eight of its last 10 spreads. The squad has also become adept at covering large lines and is 4-0 ATS against its last four double-digit spreads. The Huskies defense should get most of the credit for the team’s improved SU and ATS play. Connecticut has held its opponents to an average of 62 points per game and even held three teams to less than 55 points during that span.
Temple, on the other hand, is just a mess—both SU and ATS. The squad has managed only two wins in its last 10 outings and failed to cover in four of its last five matchups—all of which were as an underdog. The Owls are not ranked in the Top 100 in any major offensive category, but they are a decent offensive group, averaging 73.8 points per game.
Temple is coming off a huge win over SMU, however, and may be looking to end the season on a strong note in a last-ditch effort to at least be invited to the NIT. The squad received 24 points and three rebounds from guard Dalton Pepper and out-rebounded the Mustangs by 13 boards. Temple’s two biggest improvements in the matchup were its perimeter defense—the team held SMU to 20 percent shooting from 3-point range—and its excellent free-throw shooting. The squad missed only four free throws on 84 percent shooting for the night.
UConn Huskies at Temple Owls NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Connecticut opened as a nine-point favorite over the underdog Owls at BetOnline. Connecticut is 4-0 ATS in its last four road games and 6-1 ATS in its last seven Thursday games. The team is 6-1 ATS in its last seven overall games and in its last seven against the ACC. Connecticut is also 4-1 ATS in its last five games following a SU win.
Temple is 1-4 ATS in its last five overall games and 0-5 ATS in its last five Thursday games. The squad is 1-5 ATS in its last six home games against teams with a winning road record and 10-21 ATS in its last 31 home games. Temple has gone “over” in four of its last five games following an ATS win.
Free College Basketball Picks: UConn Huskies at Temple Owls Predictions
Connecticut has been on a hot streak over its last 10 games, and the team is pushing to end the season on a strong note. The Huskies have played a smothering style of defense and essentially shut down their opponents over the last 10 games. The No. 21 team in the national will end up harassing Temple on the perimeter and keep the team’s offense under control. Take the Huskies minus the points for Thursday’s game.
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