Cincinnati guard Jeremiah Davenport (24) loses control of the ball as Tennessee guard Victor Bailey Jr. (12) attempts to gain possession during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Calvin Mattheis/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, Pool)
- The Cincinnati Bearcats (3-7, 1-4 AAC) play the Temple Owls (4-5, 3-5 AAC) on Thursday, February 4th
- Temple is coming off of a brutal loss while Cincinnati hasn’t played a game since January 10th due to COVID-19 complications
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet below
The Cincinnati Bearcats and Temple Owls will meet for the second time this season on Thursday (Feb. 4th, 7:00 pm ET). This game was originally scheduled for January 20th but had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns in the Bearcats’ program.
This season has not gone as planned for either team as both are closer to the bottom of the AAC standings than the top. The Bearcats haven’t played a game since January 10th when they were beaten by Wichita State 82-76. As for the Owls, they were slapped around 81-64 by Tulane in their last game on Saturday.
This has been a one-sided series between the two schools as the Bearcats have won the last seven meetings including a 64-63 win earlier this season. The current odds are showing Cincinnati as a 2.5 point favorite in this matchup.
Temple vs Cincinnati Odds
|Cincinnati Bearcats||-2.5 (-106)||-142||Over 139.5 (-110)|
|Temple Owls||+2.5 (-114)||+120||Under 139.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Feb 3rd at FanDuel
Cincinnati Is Just Happy To Be Playing Again
On January 10th the Bearcats traveled to Wichita, Kansas to play the Wichita State Shockers. Sometime between January 11th and 12th there was a positive COVID-19 test and the Bearcats began postponing games. Finally, over three weeks later, Cincinnati will resume their season. Even after all of the time off, the Bearcats will not have a full roster for the Temple game.
It has been 23 days since the Cincinnati Bearcats men’s basketball team last played a game.
Head coach John Brannen said last night on his radio show that due to continued COVID-19 issues, UC will not have a full roster for Thursday’s scheduled game at Temple (7 p.m. on ESPN2).
— Keith Jenkins (@MrKeithJenkins) February 2, 2021
Cincinnati is a better team than their record reflects. For all of their losses, they have only been beaten by double digits once. In their last game against the Shockers, they stayed close throughout the contest only losing by six points. Zach Harvey came off the bench and scored 19 points to go along with three rebounds and an assist. It was the third time in four games the sophomore was able to crack double digits in points.
Temple Has Their Own Problems
The Owls were predicted to finish second to last in the AAC this season so it’s not like a lot was expected going into the season. They lack offensive firepower as evidenced by their 64.3 points per game which ranks 307th in the nation out of only 357 schools. It wasn’t just the offense that was the problem in their last game against Tulane. Their defense was a no show as well.
— Temple Men’s Basketball (@TUMBBHoops) January 31, 2021
Tulane ranks just ahead of Temple in points per game and was the only team under the Owls in the preseason poll. They are no one’s idea of a good offensive team yet the Owls allowed them to drop 81 points on a 50% shooting day from the field. On the season, the Green Wave is shooting 37% which ranks 335 of 357 programs. Damian Dunn and Jake Forrester led the way for Temple with 15 points apiece in the beating.
2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker
Best Betting Angle
It’s tough to know which players won’t be available for the Bearcats’ side in this game. Still, they seem like the side to back even with all of the uncertainty surrounding the program after the long layoff. Before the break, KenPom had them as a top 100 team in the nation which is rare air given their record.
The Bearcats’ record has more to do with their schedule than anything else. They have had the 45th toughest schedule in the nation according to KenPom. Both the average adjusted offense and defense of opponents ranks in the top 50 as well. The issue for Temple will be scoring points on the Bearcat defense. They are 65th best in defensive efficiency (adjusted for opponent) and the Owls are coming off a game where they could only manage 64 points against Tulane. This seems like a spot where Cincinnati is undervalued.
Pick: Cincinnati -2.5 (-106)
John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it.