Cincinnati vs. Temple NCAA Basketball Picks: Lock Bearcats Defense To Control The Game

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 3:05 PM GMT

Coming off of a rough loss to the Iowa State Cyclones, the #22 Cincinnati Bearcats get a fairly easy matchup with the Temple Owls to end 2015. Check our NCAA basketball pick here.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Cincinnati -12
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. EST this afternoon at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. At 5Dimes, the Bearcats are a 13 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 133.5 on the NCAA basketball odds board.

 

Letting Off Steam
Cincinnati has been facing a high level of competition depsite going 3-3 in their last 6 games. They are just itching to get back on the court as they came back from a 13 point deficit against the Cyclones to take a 4 point lead, but couldn't hang on. This might be a game in which they let out their frustration and 13 points is a somewhat low number.

The Bearcats defense is a major strength of theirs as they allow just 61.1 points per contest while the Owls are finding it difficult to put the rock in the hole. This game has the makings of a blowout.

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Everyone Gets Involved
The Bearcats don't have a definitive go to guy with Farad Cobb leading the way at 11.8 points per game and 7 players averaging 6 points or more per game. Excpet for one player on the roster, the entire team doesn't have a player that averages under 10 minutes per game.

It's your typical team that goes with the hot hand and the frequent substitutions allow the players on the court to stay fresh and active on the defensive end. This is a team that shares the basketball, averaging 17 assists per game and have some 3-point bombers such as Cobb (45.9%) .Cincy also relies on forward Gary Clark, who his ability to play defense and rebound. Clark may not put up a ton of shots, but he's averaging 10 points, 8 rebounds, and is good for a couple of steals and blocks each game.

This is not an elite team, but one that should have no trouble containing a weak Temple offense.

Where Temple is concerned, it's deceiving as they average 39.5% from the field, but their 3 leading scorers in Quenton DeCosey (15.1 points, 6.6 rebounds), Obi Enechionya (11 points, 3.3 rebounds), and Jaylen Bond (10.3 points, 7.5 rebounds) all shoot well above 40 from the field. Temple has played 3 top level opponents, but has managed no luck. They're hoping to turn the tables on Cincinnati as they meet the Bearcats at an opportune time.

I like Cincinnati's defense in thie game to stifle the Temple offense. Lay the points with the Bearcats as your NCAA basketball pick.