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The American Athletic Conference will take the stage when the Temple Owls travel to Dallas to take on the SMU Mustangs. Temple knocked off No. 16 Wichita State, 65-53, at home earlier in the week to end a three-game losing streak. SMU was defeated by Houston, 71-62, for their second consecutive road loss. This AAC matchup is scheduled to tipoff at 8:00 p.m. EST and can be viewed on ESPNU.
Owls pick up win over a ranked opponent for 13th straight yearTemple shocked many in college basketball with the win over Wichita State. They had lost three straight, two of which were not even close. The Owls were terrific on defense as the Shockers scored a season-low 53 points, shooting 30.2% from the field and 14.3% from three. Quinton Rose scored 19 points, while Jake Forrester and Monty Scott each had 11 in the upset.
13th straight season with a win over a ranked opponent 💪 pic.twitter.com/3xcxRzWKDJ— Temple Men's Basketball (@TUMBBHoops) January 17, 2020
Rose is the team leader in points (14.7), assists (3.8) and steals (1.9), while Nate Pierre-Louis is averaging 10.4 points and 9.0 rebounds. Temple is ahead of only USF in the AAC in scoring (68.6) and their 40.6% field goal percentage is one of the worst in the country, ranking 315th. It's their defense that has lead them to a winning record as they are holding teams to 37.9% from the floor (21st) and 28.2% from long range (19th).
Mustangs hoping to end two-game skidBeing away from Moody Coliseum has troubled SMU as they are 9-1 at home but 3-3 on the road after losing two straight. They scored just 20 points in the first half, their fewest in a half this season, but did respond with 42 second-half points in the loss to Houston. Kendric Davis scored 19 points and Feron Hunt added 14 as the only two to reach double digits in points. Tyson Jolly had eight rebounds but scored just five points on 2-for-11 shooting.
The Mustangs are well-balanced on offense with four players averaging 13.5 points or more. Davis leads SMU in scoring (16.5) and assists (7.1), the latter leading the conference by a wide margin. Isiaha Mike (15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds), Jolly (14.0 and 6.4) and Hunt (13.5 and team-high 7.6 rebounds) make the Mustangs difficult to gameplan against. SMU leads the conference in field goal percentage (46.5%) and free-throw shooting (77.6%) which has them tied for first in the AAC in scoring (76.8). The free-throw percentage is 12th in the country.
Trends courtesy of Oddsshark.com:
- Temple is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against AAC opponents
- Temple is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games played on a Saturday
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Temple pulled off a shocker (pun intended) against Wichita State but it's hard to forget the losing streak leading up to the win. It's hard to forget that the Owls were pummeled by Tulsa the last time they were on the road. The short turnaround, plus the long flight to Dallas, will be too much to overcome. SMU is tough to defend as anyone can lead them in scoring on any given night but their defense does not get enough credit. The Mustangs have been a much better team at home and come away with a relatively easy win.
Full-Game Total Pick
This will be a defensive battle that's for sure. Temple has to play tough defense because of their inability to score at times. They have been excellent defensively on the road, ranking 12th in points against, 30th in opposing field goal percentage and 32nd in three-point defense. The trends favor the under as well. The total has gone under in five of Temple's last six road games and five of their last overall. SMU has seen their last two games fall under the total and a third straight is coming.