The Temple Owls travel to Greenville, NC tonight at Minges Coliseum, the home of the E. Carolina Pirates. Let’s take a look at how these teams will play out tonight.
Temple vs. East. Carolina 7:00 ET ESPNU
The Temple Owls travel to Greenville, NC tonight for this 7:00 pm ET tip on ESPNU at Minges Coliseum, the home of the E. Carolina Pirates. These teams met earlier this season with Temple emerging with a 66-53 victory in Philly. Three key ingredients go into this selection: They include the fact that Temple has the motivation of being on the bubble, that the Owls are a far superior defensive team and that E. Carolina has played their worse against the best, while Temple has played their best against the worst. Let’s go inside the numbers to see how those play out.
After a disastrous 9-22 SU season of last, the Temple Owls have rebounded smartly this year under veteran 9th year HC Dunphy, so keep this in mind when looking over the NCAA Basketball odds. After a mediocre 6-4 SU, 2-5 ATS start, the Owls benefited from a trio of eligible transfers. They have since gone 13-5 SU, elevating themselves to an RPI in the low 40s. That’s good enough for inclusion on the bubble, but with much work left to do. Included has been a marquee win vs. Kansas in late December. It is no surprise that under Dunphy that defense has been a calling card for the Owls. They allow just 60 PPG, only 39% from the field, 31% from the arc and force 13 TOs per game.
E. Carolina does not approach the standings of Defensive Dandy, as they are allowing teams 65 PPG on 44% shooting. But, the most notable difference between these two is their performance against the opposing factions of the league. In the 2nd year of the AAC, the league has been split into haves and have nots. The winning teams include Tulsa, SMU, Temple, Cinci, UConn and Memphis. At the opposite end of the spectrum, is the bottom tier of teams, all who are 4 or more games below .500 in league play. These include USF, Houston, UCF, Tulane and this E. Carolina team. When facing the upper echelon of teams, E. Carolina has gone 1-7 SU with 6/7 losses by 11 or more points. Though Temple has gone 1-5 SU ATS against SMU, Tulsa and Cinci, the Owls have soared to a record of 10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS against all others in the league. Also of note is the long term record of HC Dunphy in this role. His Temple teams are 42-22 ATS as road favorite, including 4-0 ATS in that role this season. Those victories include wins of 20 over Delaware, 8 over Tulane, 24 at UCF and 13 at S. Florida.
Combination of bubble motivation for Temple, the superior defense and these teams dichotomous play add up to a solid winner NCAA basketball pick for the Owls today.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Temple -6 at BetOnline