Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Temple is off to its best start in eight seasons and it has not dropped a game on its home floor, yet the Owls are a pooch here. Every team knows the line and this number, no matter how small, has to be considered disrespectful to head coach Fran Dunphy and his team. The Owls are 11-3 after an 85-81 overtime win on the road in Wichita, which is impressive on its own, but even more so when you consider it came on the heels of a tough 78-73 road loss at Central Florida. Temple has traveled non-stop this season and it hasn't played a home game since December 12th. Nine of the Owls last 10 have been contested either on the road or at a neutral site. That they've racked up 11 wins already with some tough games under their belt should serve Temple well here during conference play, as it'll now play five of its next six games at home. The Owls failed in their first attempt to take down a ranked team when they lost to the defending national champions, Villanova, but they and the home crowd should have no problem getting up for #15 Houston.
The Cougars are one of three remaining undefeated teams in Division I hoops, but a deep dive shows that this squad has been feasting at the cupcake buffet. Houston has played the 293rd toughest schedules in the nation according to KenPom, which suggests that their path to 15-0 has been just about as sugarcoated as possible. Houston has also played just two true road games this season, with the last one coming on December 8th. Winning and winning on the road are two different beasts, especially in college. On paper, the Cougars are going to be an appealing bet today spotting such a small price against unranked opposition, as they are a top 10 squad in opponent field goal percentage (second) and three point percentage (fifth), as well as scoring defense (seventh). The Cougs are going to have further appeal, as they've been scoring in bunches after racking up five straight double-digit wins. Houston also beat the Owls twice last season, but those games have no bearing here but what it does do is motivate the Owls even more. Houston's undefeated mark will add even more fuel to the Owls fire. Temple is every bit as good as the Cougs and maybe better. T
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#788 TEMPLE +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)