NCAA Basketball Picks: Temple's Unconvincing Performance Gives the Edge to Home Favorite SMU -7

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, February 19, 2015 5:57 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 5:57 PM GMT

This AAC clash between Temple/SMU will be at 7:00pm and the teams will meet in Dallas Tx. Check out this preview article and find out which team will make it to our expert NCAA Basketball Picks.

Temple at SMU (-6-) 7:00 ET ESPN2    
The Temple Owls visit the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, TX and are listed on the NCAA basketball odds at +7. These two are members of the newly formed American Athletic Conference.  This year, SMU leads the league at 12-2 SU with Temple just a game back in the loss column at 10-3 SU.  An earlier meeting saw SMU prevail in Philly by a count of 60-55. Last year when these two teams met on this floor, the Ponies prevailed 75-52. Please note that in that earlier SMU victory this year, that Temple PG Cummings was less than 100% (scored only 1 point, averages 14 PPG), due to an injured calf. There is plenty to like about Temple, but in the final analysis SMU is your pointspread winner.

The Owls suffered a rare losing year last season, when they went 9-22 SU, 4-14 ATS in AAC play. After an 85-62 loss to Villanova on December 14th, Temple was a humble 6-4 SU, 2-5 ATS.  But with the eligibility of key transfers for the 2nd semester, the Owls have clearly turned the corner.  Since that time, Temple is 13-3 SU, 9-4 ATS.  Following an embarrassing 84-53 loss at Cincinnati on January 4th (their 3rd in a row), the Owls have ripped off a 7-0 SU ATS run.  They have played well on both sides of the ball, including the defensive end where they have allowed just 53 PPG.  The level of competition is most telling over that 10-game stretch. Those previous 3 losses came to the 3 best teams in the league, SMU, Tulsa and Cincinnati.  In the 7-game winning streak, they have played none of those three quality teams.  Now, they must travel to league leader SMU for their toughest test of the conference season.

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Note that SMU has lived up to their Top 20 pre-season hype. Coming off a 27-10 SU season of last, SMU has reached expectations under legendary 3rd year HC Larry Brown. The Mustangs are 21-5 SU for the season, including 12-2 SU in AAC play. The only losses have come with a pair of defeats to Cincinnati. The 12 victories have all come by 5 or more points. Thus, their record at Moody Coliseum in league play is 6-1 SU ATS with all victories by 14 or more points.  The Ponies qualify as a Defensive Dandy, allowing just 59 PPG, 37% from the field and 31% from the arc. They have a 6.9 rebound margin on the offensive end they knock down 45% of their shots, while dishing out 16 assists per game. They deserve their No. 1 standing in the league.  

Years of second meet college conference data have unearthed a "sweep situation" which points out the Ponies in this one. The strongest part of this situation qualifies today.  It includes parameters such as a modest price point, each team coming off a victory, the home team being greater than .668 and the road team entering following 6 or more consecutive victories.  With all parameters in place, we have an over 75% historical situation.  Look for the combination of the SMU home court and the Owls inability to beat the top teams in the league to combine with the sweep situation for a positive victory, and add SMU to your college basketball picks.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take SMU at BetOnline

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