Villanova and Temple Treat ‘Under’ Bettors to Win: Top NCAAB Free Picks

Willie Bee

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 3:52 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 3:52 PM UTC

Having risen to the top of the latest rankings, Villanova is favored on the NCAA basketball odds to complete yet another Big 5 season sweep at Temple.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Villanova-Temple Under 150½
Best Line Available is at Pinnacle
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Welcome to the top of the chart, Villanova. Now, can the Wildcats avoid those 1st-game jitters that many other teams couldn’t after just advancing to No. 1 in the polls, especially in a rivalry game like Jay Wright’s team faces Wednesday night against the Temple Owls?

Off to a 10-0 start for a second consecutive season, and fourth such start in the last five years, Villanova makes the short crosstown trip tonight to take on Temple in a 7 PM (ET) that ESPN2 will carry. A jam-packed Liacouras Center will be on hand to take sides in the matchup that saw BetOnline open the Wildcats -7 before early action on the top-ranked team swelled the spread to -8. The total has been on the rise as well since first going out, now at 150-150½.

Owls Facing ‘Nova As No. 1 Team For 3rd-Straight Season
Villanova narrowly escaped what would have been a huge upset at the hands of La Salle this past Sunday in a game Wright called “a great lesson for our guys.” The Explorers outshot the Wildcats in front of and behind the arc, plus held their own on the glass only to fall 77-68 when Villanova posted a huge 27-4 scoring edge at the free throw line. The Wildcats were favored by 19½ and saw a 5-game string of spread victories stopped, four of their last six games going ‘over’ the totals.

Temple is also coming off a tougher-than-expected Big 5 win with Saturday’s 81-78 triumph over Saint Joseph’s as a 10½ point NCAA basketball odds favorite on this floor. The Owls used a 14-3 run late in the first half to take charge, then held on when the Hawks mounted a late push. Fran Dunphy’s gang experienced their worst shooting performance of the year in the victory (28-67), though the Owls made up a little for that by sinking 11 from 3-point range with Shizz Alston Jr. connecting on five of his eight tries from 3-point land.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
Fans of the Philly Big 5 series know about the uncharted waters the Wildcats are in currently as they aim for their 5th-straight season series title. A win tonight gives Villanova its 22nd consecutive Big 5 win and would mark the ninth time since the 2005 season the ‘Cats went a perfect 4-0 against their city rivals. Villanova leads the all-time series with Temple 48-43 and has won the last four meetings, grabbing covers as double-digit chalk in each of those victories with the last six at Liacouras Center seeing ‘over’ bettors return to the pay window.

The ‘over’ trend in this series on Temple’s home floor just doesn’t make sense, and the total is at least a dozen points higher than the last three the teams have played. I’m going to buck that drift with my free college basketball pick and play the low side of the number.

Season: 11-14 (-3.70)

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