Temple-UConn, Houston-SMU Clashes Offer 'Over/Under' Value

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 1:34 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 1:34 PM UTC

A pair of AAC contests offers value picking the game total Wednesday, as Temple clashes with UConn and red-hot Houston takes on SMU. Here’s what way we are wagering the 'over/under' in each.

Temple (-2.5) at UConn

Temple (16-12 SU, 15-12 ATS) is experiencing a roller-coaster season, enjoying both five-game winning and losing streaks during the year. The squad is showing a bit more consistency late, particularly on the road, covering the spread in five of its last six away. It’s topping the number in this spot in large part to dominating the 3-point battle. The Owls are hitting 40.3 percent from behind the arc, while limiting opponents to 29.7 percent overall.

UConn (13-16 SU, 8-18 ATS) is a mediocre 4-3 SU hosting AAC foes at Gampel Pavilion, but put up a fight regardless of the result. It has lost by double digits once in the last 15 games under these conditions (Cincinnati, March 2017), owning a plus-5.4 average scoring margin overall.

The Huskies are honoring five seniors Wednesday, including redshirt junior and team 3-point leader Terry Larrier. The oft-injured talent is forgoing his final year of eligibility to turn pro. When Larrier or junior guard Jalen Adams puts up double figures in scoring in conference home games in their career, UConn is 10-2 SU overall. Adans posts 17.6 and Larrier 12.6 points per game at home in 2017. NCAA basketball bettors need to weigh their matchups carefully when handicapping.

The Owls have scored just 55, 57and 59 points in their last three visits to UConn. Since the start of last season, the Huskies yield 62.0 points per game to AAC visitors averaging less than 72 points on the season. Only one of nine has reached 69 points. Temple averages 70.1 per night. Look for a stout Huskies defense to keep this close. Whether the effort is enough to propel them to victory is questionable. The best bet is ‘under’ 141 points. Lean the Huskies straight up for value.

Free NCAAB Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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No. 25 Houston (-5) at SMU

Houston (22-6 SU, 14-9 ATS) is scary good and primed to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Going 11-3 SU in AAC play, it is coming off one of the most dominating wins in school history, routing ECU by 51 points (109-58) Sunday. The Cougars set a conference record with those 109 points, also equaling the most 3-pointers (18) and highest field-goal percentage (66.7) in a contest. If you're a Pirates fan, you may want to look away:

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HIGHLIGHTS – Enjoy some of the big plays from Sunday's big win over ECU with @KPRCradio 950 AM calls from @JeremyBranham &@ElvinHayes44

NEXT – at SMU, 8 pm WEDNESDAY in Dallas...
WATCH on ESPN2, LISTEN on KPRC 950 AM#ForTheCity #GoCoogs pic.twitter.com/qdjBp1LYVG

— Houston Men's Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@UHCougarMBK) February 27, 2018

On paper, the defense is even better than the offense. Houston ranks 22nd in the country in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency ratings. In conference road games, it yields 69.3 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting.

SMU (16-13 SU, 9-13 ATS) is in a free-fall with two of its three leading scorers injured. The Mustangs are 4-10 SU and ATS since the start of the New Year. Junior guard Shake Milton, top points-getter with 18.0 per game, has missed the last seven contests with a broken bone in his right hand. He is “highly doubtful” to suit up Wednesday, according to head coach Tim Jankovich. With Milton out, the Mustangs average 62.1 points on 38.3 percent shooting. They are coming up short of market projections in scoring by 3.6 points per game.

Also out is guard/forward combo Jarrey Foster. The junior tore his ACL in late January driving to the hoop in a game against Wichita State and will miss the rest of the season. At the time of the injury, Foster was SMU’s second-leading scorer (13.2 ppg) and rebounder (5.9 rpg),

Foster and Milton are the heart and soul of the Mustangs' offense. Both stand 6-foot-6 and are ultra athletic, proving tough matchups for any opposing coach. SMU is averaging 56.0 points per game on a lowly 36.3 percent shooting when catching points on the NCAA oddsboard with the duo out.

Despite SMU’s scoring woes recently, the ‘over’ presents some value here. Houston is a shooting machine of late, surpassing its team total in six of its last eight games by a 5.6 average. Don’t be shocked if the Cougars push 80 points here. They’ve reached the mark in their last three games. Whether the Mustangs are in the game or not, Houston should put up a number big enough to cash.

Free NCAAB Pick: OverBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

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