Temple-Belmont Betting Guide: Do Hot-Shooting Bruins Have Edge in NCAA Tournament?

Temple-Belmont Betting Guide: Do Hot-Shooting Bruins Have Edge in NCAA Tournament? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Belmont guard Dylan Windler (3), Temple guard Shizz Alson Jr. (10).

NCAA Tournament Betting Odds: Temple-Belmont

  • Spread: Belmont -3.5
  • Over/Under: 155.5
  • Time: 9:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: truTV

>> All odds as of Tuesday morning Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

The Bruins (18-10-2 against the spread) have covered in five of their past seven games while the Owls (15-15-2 ATS) have split their past four contests ATS.

Belmont, which lost to Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference title game was expected to be on the outside looking in come the NCAA tournament. But the selection subbed Rick Byrd’s team in for TCU, as the Horned Frogs settled for a trip to the NIT.

On the flip side, Temple essentially clinched itself a bid with a win over UCF in the regular season finale despite losing to Wichita State in the AAC tournament quarterfinals.

The winner of this play-in game in Dayton snags the No. 11 seed, squaring off against No. 6 Maryland in Jacksonville, Fla. Which team possesses the value in this matchup? Let’s break it down.

Mismatches when Belmont Has the Ball

The Bruins possess the 49th-highest 3-point clip (37.1%) in the country, along with generating the 82nd-highest scoring rate (35.8%) in that department. The 6-foot-8 Dylan Windler (21.4 points per game) could present a mismatch, as the stretch-four has notched the 21st-highest eFG% (65.5%) in Division I.

But the Owls have limited their opponents to the 75th-lowest 3-point clip (32.7%). In AAC play, their perimeter defense finished first in opponents’ 3-point percentage (29.6%) and scoring defense (27.3%), respectively.

Expect Fran Dunphy’s man-to-man defense — guided by its ball pressure via the 6-foot-8 Quinton Rose — to hold Belmont in check from behind the arc.

Moreover, the 6-foot-11 freshman Nick Muszynski (14.9 ppg) is expected to suit up after missing the OVC title game with an ankle injury. He represents the Bruins’ lone low-post threat, yet look for Temple’s 6-foot-10 senior Ernest Aflakpui to deliver physical matchup.

Mismatches when Temple Has the Ball

As stellar as the Bruins’ 3-point shooting has been, they’ve let up a below-average 34.7% clip from behind the arc. On the flip side, the Owls’ perimeter attack improved during their league slate, tallying the AAC’s third-highest 3-point clip (35.3%) and scoring rate from behind the arc (32.7%), respectively.

Temple should be able push the pace off Belmont’s missed looks, creating open 3-points for point guard Shizz Alston and J.P. Moorman II in transition.

Situational Spot

Belmont is gunning for the program’s first-ever first NCAA tournament win, going 0-7 straight up in Byrd’s first seven tries. But Dunphy (3-13 outright) is set to retire once the Owls’ season wraps up.

I’m betting on Temple coming out with even more motivation to nab at least one more win for their coach in the big dance, pulling off at least a cover in this spot.

THE PICK: Temple +3.5, but I wouldn’t bet it past Temple +3.

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