Saturday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: UCF-Temple, Villanova-Seton Hall
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Temple Owls guard Shizz Alston Jr. (10).
It’s the final day of the regular season for most major-conference teams, as 18 nationally ranked squads in action. Among those teams with NCAA tournament implications, No. 23 Villanova travels to Seton Hall before Temple faces UCF.
Where’s the value in these two critical matchups? Let’s break them down.
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Betting Odds: Villanova Wildcats at Seton Hall Pirates
- Spread: Villanova -3
- Over/Under: 139
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
The Wildcats (19-11 against the spread) have won two consecutive contests ATS, clinching the Big East regular season title with Marquette’s three straight outright losses. Meanwhile, the Pirates (13-16 ATS) snapped their own three-game skid by beating the Golden Eagles on Wednesday.
Villanova is on the verge on clinching the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament, so Seton Hall’s has plenty more to play for — with a ticket to March Madness on the line. Kevin Willard’s group has a revenge spot, too, suffering a 28-point loss to Jay Wright’s crew on Jan. 27.
The Pirates boast an advantage defensively, yielding the third-lowest 3-point scoring rate (31.6%) in Big East play. Guard Phil Booth (18.7 points per game) and the Wildcats have manufactured the highest 3-point scoring percentage (44.5%), relying on their perimeter offense at a top-10 rate across the country as well.
Expect Willard’s unit to stymie them defensively, led by Quincy McKnight’s stellar on-ball defense (3.6% steal rate).
At the other end, Seton Hall’s leading-scorer Myles Powell (22.7 ppg) will be able to take advantage of Villanova’s struggling perimeter defense (Big East’s second-highest 3-point scoring rate). Its interior defense has also proven inconsistent throughout league play, allowing the Pirates to benefit from their league-leading 2-point scoring rate (54.1%).
THE PICK: Seton Hall +3
Betting Odds: UCF Knights at Temple Owls
- Spread: Pick’em
- Over/Under: 138.5
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
The Knights (18-10-1 ATS) have covered in eight straight games, including back-to-back games over Houston (+7) and Cincinnati (-2.5). On the flip side, the Owls (14-14-2 ATS) have won four of their past six contests ATS.
Temple is scavenging for an at-large bid come March Madness — similar to Seton Hall — and a home win would present a with their third Quadrant 1 victory. UCF can taste a NCAA tournament berth after racking up a pair of wins over the AAC’s top-two teams.
In their last meeting on Jan. 2, UCF controlled the glass (31-23) en route to five-point loss, along with the Knights’ size limiting the Owls to a 42.3% clip from inside the arc.
Look for the Owls’ third-rated opponent turnover rate (19.8%) amid their league slate to challenge Central Florida’s loose ball-handling, though, as it is producing sixth-highest turnover percentage (17.8%). Even with 7-foot-6 Tako Fall presenting a massive height edge, his 19.6% miscue rate poses an issue on the block.
On the flip side, Fran Dunphy’s squad has tallied the third-highest 3-point scoring rate (33.3%) in AAC play, going 13-of-27 (48.1%) from behind the arc in their previous affair. Johnny Dawkins’ crew is giving up the fourth-highest perimeter scoring percentage (32.4%), so Shizz Alston Jr. (19.6 ppg) is set up to have his way from his sweet spot.
With Temple’s March Madness hopes on the line, it’ll come through in this revenge spot.
THE PICK: Temple PK