Lay The Points With Your NCAA Basketball Picks As Temple Visits UCONN

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 5:19 PM GMT

The #23 Connecticut Huskies face a Temple Owls team (6-6) that will have to fight all year long to remain at .500. Are the Huskies the NCAA basketball pick in this matchup?

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Connecticut Huskies -10½
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Tip-off is scheduled for tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. According to 5Dimes Sportsbook NCAA basketball odds board, Connecticut is a 10.5 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 139.5. I think that these are very appealing odds for the bettor where Connecticut is concerned. Let's take a look at the matchup and find out which our NCAA basketball pick is.

With losses to Maryland and Gonzaga, UConn really hasn't been able to win the "big one", but nonetheless, they've won 5 consecutive games and have been taking care of business against some decent clubs; teams that are much more formidable than the Owls. Connecticut is also known for their ability to turn it on during conference tournament time. These games are somewhat of a tune-up for what's to come.

 

Consistent Offense
This is what leading scorer, junior guard, Rodney Purvis, provides for the Huskies as he's a very effective shooter and consistently produces every game.

Thus far this season, Purvis is averaging 15.6 points per game while shooting 51.4% from the field and 47.1% from beyond the arc. Purvis is a guy that's going to provide the Huskies with at least a few 3-pointers per game and solid defense. This is a player that gets a ton of minutes because UConn simply can't win without him. The only Achilees Heel to his game is his poor free throw shooting and that can hurt Connecticut down the road, but it won't hurt in this game. Look for a big game out of Purvis, who is coming off of a 20 point effort against Tulane.

Connecticut is going to need knockdown shooters such as Purvis because they're a poor rebounding team that averages 38 rebounds per game.

 

All-Around Baller
That would be a great description for sophomore, Daniel Hamilton. Hamilton is a player that can basically do it all and that's a luxury. He's a major reason why the Huskies have reached the top 25.

For the season, Hamilton is averaging 13.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game. Those are some mighty impressive numbers and if this or any other game comes down to crunchtime, UConn wants the ball in his hands, because he's a facilitator and can also knock down his free throws.

Although Hamilton has shot under 50% from the field in each of his last 3 games, it is encouraged for him to keep taking the timely shots as this is a player that's a game changer with a high basketball I.Q. He might not be as good a shooter as Rodney Purvis, but he's the most important person on this team as he can hurt the opponent in some many ways. He should be licking his chops at the prospect of facing Temple.

 

Taking On All Comers
One thing that I will say about Temple that has contributed to their poor record is the fact that they have a really rough schedule. Temple has faced Cincinnati, Utah, Butler, and North Carolina; all in the AP Top 25 and have actually come away with 1 victory against Cincinnati. A win here would be a major statement by the Owls. That said, regardless of their schedule, they're not up to the task of beating these highly ranked squads.

This is not a very effective offensive team as they shoot below 40% from the field, average 37 rebounds per game, 70 points per game and defense isn't a strength either. If they're to beat Connecticut, it would have to be on pure guts and not turning the ball over. This appears to be one of their strengths.

Temple is led by senior Quenton DeCosey and DeCosey is coming off of an average game against Houston. He had a big game against Cincinnati in the 77-70 Owls victory as he made many trips to the free throw line. This is a player that needs to be aggreesive and put up more shots. When he does, good things seem to happen, but he's been reluctant to do so thus far.

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