UCF Knights vs. Temple Owls Betting Preview – NCAAB January 14, 2021

By Dean McHugh in College Basketball
| January 13, 2021 3:12 pm PST

It’s still relatively early days for these two teams as they have both played by far the least amount of games in the American Athletic Conference. It is no surprise then that they are both towards the bottom of the standings, detached from the rest of the Conference. It’s a daunting prospect being so far behind, but they have to start somewhere, and a win here could be the catalyst to get things moving in the right direction.

The recent head to head record over the last six games is split with three wins apiece. If you look back over the previous ten games between these two teams, they have both averaged 64 points each, so there is nothing between them. However, Temple has the upper hand at home, winning four of the last five games.

Knights vs. Owls Odds

Knights -2.5-110
Owls +2.5-110
Knights To Win-146
Owls To Win+124
Over 134.5 Points-110
Under 134.5 Points-110

Much like the recent games between these two, the betting is very close. Let’s break things down and analyze these two teams in detail.

Knights Analysis

The Knights have had a long time to wait to play a basketball game as their last two games got canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions. Therefore in one sense, they are fresh and ready to go, and on the other, they haven’t had much game time and could be caught cold.

They have a split 3-3 record from their opening six games this season. Worryingly for them, they have lost their last two games against Conference leaders Houston and against South Florida last time out. They led by one point against South Florida at halftime, but they crumbled in the second half, eventually losing 68-61.

They also have a split record of one win and one defeat from their first two games on the road.

Here are the latest betting trends for UCF:

Against The Spread

  • They have only won one of their last five games on the road.

Points Total

  • Six of their last nine games have gone under the betting total.
  • Against American Athletic Conference opposition, only two of the last six games have gone over the total.

Other Pointers

  • They have only won two of their last eight games played in January.

The Knights have not done well offensively so far this season, averaging just 66 points per game. This has primarily been down to a low field goal percentage of only 41%. They aren’t rebounding the ball too well either, so they aren’t giving themselves many second chances when they are missing. Perhaps if they moved the ball around the court better, they would open up teams more and create better scoring opportunities. They are averaging just nine assists per game this season, which is extremely low. Although, with all of this said, their offense has been better on the road this season, which does help.

Their defense has been very good, and apart from their rebounding, they have a defense that could compete with most teams in the league.

Brandon Mahan and Dre Fuller have led the way for UCF so far this season, with Mahan particularly excelling in one or two games.

Both Johnson Jr. and Adams are listed as doubtful for this game as they recover from injuries and sickness.

Owls Analysis

The Owls have only played four games so far this season as they have had a Covid-19 hit start to this campaign also. They find themselves at the foot of the American Athletic Conference standings. After winning their opening game of the season against NJIT, they have lost the next three. However, it must be said that those three losses came against the two top teams in the Conference as they lost to Houston and the SMU Mustangs twice.

Like the Knights games on the road, they have a split 1-1 record at home.

They also haven’t faired well as underdogs this season, losing all three of the games they have entered as the betting outsider.

Here are the latest betting trends for Temple:

Against The Spread

  • The Owls have only won two of their last six games at home.
  • They have lost four of the last five games played in January.

Points Total

  • Five of their last seven games have gone under the betting total.
  • Thursday nights have seen plenty of action as eight of their last nine games played on that day have gone over the total.
  • Four of the last five home games on a Thursday night have also gone over too.

Other Pointers

  • Temple has lost their last eight games in a row against teams based in the American Athletic Conference.

Just like the Knights, the Owls offense has misfired so far this season, averaging even less than UCF, with only 65 points per game. They have a field goal percentage down at just 36%, which is lower than some teams shoot three-pointers! They also don’t move the ball around the court well, so this will probably be an end to end game with very little build-up play.

However, one area they are better in is rebounding, and this is an area they will look to exploit.

Their defense has been even worse, but to be fair, we do have to consider that three of their four games played were against top opposition.

Their freshman, Damian Dunn, has been the only real stand out player so far this season, and he will hope that the likes of Brendan Barry and Jeremiah Williams can add a little to their games to try and elevate the team.

They have two guards in Battle and White who are both questionable to make this game but forward, Tolbert is definitely out with a knee injury.

Knights vs. Owls Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 134.5
    -110

These teams will go into this game thinking that this is an excellent opportunity to pick up a win and build momentum in their stop-start seasons. Therefore, both teams could take a cautious approach here, so I think the pick should be under the betting total. You also have the added insurance that neither team shoots well, which always helps when betting on under’s.

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