Houston vs. Temple college basketball prediction: Owls the pick

It’s the first Sunday without football since August. We are now entering the time of year when college basketball takes center stage. Sunday, we have an interesting matchup with No. 3 Houston visiting Temple.

On paper, this looks like a revenge spot for the Cougars after Temple just beat them on their home court two weeks ago. I’m going in the other direction, however, because Houston is a little overvalued in the betting market right now.

Following the loss to Temple, the Cougars beat UCF by 11, Cincinnati by six and Wichita State by nine. This is simply too many points to lay on the road against a good Temple squad that has won four straight and has lost by double-digits just three times all season, most recently on Dec. 10.

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In the first meeting, Temple’s defense was the story. The Owls held Houston to just 6-for-21 shooting (28.6 percent) from 2-point range and forced 13 turnovers. Temple even held its own against the second-best offensive rebounding team in the nation by pulling down 28 defensive boards.

The performance wasn’t a fluke. Temple ranks 67th in 2-point percentage defense, and that’s where the Cougars get most of their points, ranking 68th in 2-point scoring rate.
Some may play the Houston revenge angle here, but the Cougars aren’t in top form right now. Houston trailed most of the game against lowly Wichita State on Thursday before pulling away late.

Betting on College Basketball?

Look for Temple to play the Cougars tough again and stay within the number at home.

The play: Temple, +12.

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