TEMPLE OWLS (5-0)
at VILLANOVA WILDCATS (4-3)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Temple -2.5, Total: 139.5
Temple will be in search of its first win at Villanova since 2004-05 when the Big 5 rivals meet on Wednesday night.
The Owls have covered in their annual meeting with 'Nova each of the past three years, and this season they’ve covered in both games in which they were favored by single digits (at Kent State and Buffalo). They haven’t won SU at Villanova since December 2004, the last time they were a road favorite against their Philadelphia rivals. The Wildcats are off to a slow start this year, but snapped their early three-game slide with a solid road win at Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Which of these rivals will come out on top this year? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts are a collective 52% ATS (96-90-5) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 7-3 ATS in the past 10 days and 61% ATS (20-13) for the season. StatFox Brian is 6-2 ATS (75%) in the past seven days and sits at 51% ATS for the season. StatFox Dave is also at 51% ATS (36-35-1) for the season after going 54% ATS (27-23-1) since Nov. 17.
Temple will have the best two perimeter players in this game in Scootie Randall (15.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG) and Khalif Wyatt (15.6 PPG, 5.0 APG). PF Anthony Lee (10.4 PPG on 67% FG, 7.2 RPG) has added punch down low. They’ve shown they can score (80 points in two of their five games) or win with defense, as they’re allowing 61.0 PPG, and last week held Buffalo to 39 points in a road win.
Villanova has a balanced attack, but no true go-to scorer this season. Freshman PG Ryan Arcidiacono (12.9 PPG, 4.4 APG) has led the way in the early going. He’s doing a good just getting to the line (86% FT on 6.1 FTA per game) but is shooting an atrocious 29.9% FG with 3.4 TOPG. He’s scored in single digits each of his past two games. Junior C Mouphtaou Yarou (9.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG) stepped up in the Vanderbilt win with 16 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore PF JayVaughn Pinkston (12.4 PPG on 51% FG), has thrived in two games since moving to the bench. He had 19 points and seven rebounds in a loss to La Salle, and 13 points and eight boards in the Vanderbilt win. While they’re shooting terribly from the field (41.6% FG), Nova’s one saving grace is that they’re going to the line a ton, averaging 30.3 FT attempts per game, tops in the country.