LA Tech travels to Philadelphia where they will face a Temple Owl team for the NIT Quarter Finals. Let’s look some very dichotomous numbers to determine why the percentage play is on the Bulldogs.
LA Tech vs. Temple (-3-) 9:00 ET ESPN2
For a 9 pm ET tip, as televised by ESPN2, the LA Tech Bulldogs travels to Philadelphia and the Liacouras Center where they will face a Temple Owl team who are home favorites on NCAA Basketball odds for this event. This is a Quarter Final matchup in the NIT and the winner will advance to Madison Square Garden for Semi Final action next week.
The Temple Owls, under 9th year HC Fran Dunphy, had an incredibly successful season after their 9-22 SU injury-plagued voyage of last year. At 25-10 SU this season, these Owls more resemble the Temple teams, who recorded 24 or more victories in the 3 years preceding last year’s downer. Credit their strong work on their home court, as well as a mid-December turnaround when a trio of transfers became eligible. On December 14th, Temple lost (85-62) as 17 point dog to Villanova. After that game, their record was 6-4 SU, 2-5 ATS. Since that time, they have gone on a run of 19-6 SU, 15-8 ATS. They challenged for AAC superiority, but fell just short. In so doing, they garnered a No. 1 seed for this event. There is little doubt that the strong home court was a major factor, as they went 16-2 SU at Liacouras. But a closer inspection of those two defeats is a key to this play against them. Those two losses were to top AAC teams, Tulsa (63-56) and SMU (60-55). It was part of a log that saw Temple go 13-0 SU against the teams below them in the AAC standings, but 1-6 SU ATS against SMU, Tulsa and Cinci, the cream of the conference. NIT victories against Bucknell and George Washington in this event are more reminiscent of their 13-0 SU record against inferior teams. Now, they line up against a veteran Bulldog team who won the CUSA regular season title, yet failed to get an NCAA bid because of a loss in OT vs. UAB in Birmingham.
Focused for this event, the Bulldogs have responded with a pair of dominant NIT wins by counts of 89-79 vs. C. Michigan and 84-72 at Texas A&M. Though Tech has just 2 days to travel and prepare following that victory in College Station, they are playing outstanding basketball and deserve our backing in this spot. A veteran backcourt, led by Raheem Appleby, assures great perimeter play for 4th year HC Michael White. White, who will be a hot commodity following this event, took over a Tech team who recorded just 12 wins, 5 years ago. Since that time, the Bulldog win totals have soared to 18, 27, 29 and a 27-8 SU record this season.
In mid-November, Temple hosted LA Tech as a 4 point dog, emerging with an 82-75 victory. We will gladly take the 8 points of value from that matchup and play the avenging Bulldogs at this value price, so add LA Tech to your NCAA Basketball picks.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Take LA Tech at 5Dimes