Temple Owls vs. Belmont Bruins Pick

March 19, 9:10 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Belmont -3.5

The Temple Owls (23-9) will square off with the Belmont Bruins (26-5) in the First Four stage of the 2019 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The clash will take place on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 with a scheduled tip-off time of 9:10 PM ET. The game will be broadcasted on truTV for national audiences. The Owls and Bruins have never met previously.

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No. 11 Temple Owls vs. No. 11 Belmont Bruins Overview

Belmont Bruins

The Bruins were last in action in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on March 9th where they lost in the championship game to the recipient of the automatic bid, Murray State. The Bruins were actually favored to win the match by two points but were instead on the losing end of a 77-65 defeat.

Temple Owls

The Owls also stumbled in conference tournament play against another well-known name that has graced March Madness frequently as of late, the Wichita State Shockers. Temple was last on the hardwood against Wichita State on Friday in the AAC Tournament Quarterfinal where they were also upset as a 1.5-point favorite. The Shockers defeated the Owls 80-74.

Reasons To Back Belmont

The Bruins will be a tough out for the Owls to solve as Belmont is one of the fastest moving units in America when it comes to tempo (14th according to KenPom). The Bruins were able to achieve this against some heavy-hitters as they played the 87th ranked Non-Conference Strength of Schedule. Temple is up against a Bruins team that managed to produce a 20th ranked adjusted efficiency margin (114.8) according to KenPom. This figure is far superior to Temple’s 86th rated AEM of 108.6 which indicates that Belmont may actually be under-seeded here and the Owls could be in line for a thumping.

Reasons To Avoid Temple

In terms of conferences outside in the Power Five with regards to prestige and supremacy, the American Athletic Conference ranks in the upper echelons along with the Big East. The AAC is the home of the Owls and presently bodes two ranked teams compared to Belmont's resident conference the Ohio Valley Conference which has none. For this reason, it is auspicious to see the Bruins favored here which indicates the market is taking a hard line in their position of this play-in bout. We're listening.

Temple vs. Belmont Prediction 03/18/2019

The Bruins will showcase why the Ohio Valley Conference was awarded an at-large bid for the first time in 32 years when Belmont dispatches the Owls and covers while doing so. Beware the overreaction on the back-end of this result as the Bruins have been touted by many to be a potential Cinderella team. First thing first, Belmont makes its case here at the expense of Temple.

Free Pick: 
Take Belmont -3.5
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