The Central Florida Knights and Temple Owls face off tonight in some early-season conference action at the Liacouras Center. The two AAC rivals will be the first to meet in the conference with the winner automatically taking over the first place spot.
The Knights have had a strong start to their season thus far with a 6-2 overall record. Their losses came to two very good Oklahoma and No. 13 Auburn teams. After losing to Auburn, the Knights have won their last two games in a row including an 83-68 win over North Carolina A&T. So far, UCF has handled all their mid-to-low major opponents but Temple presents a different challenge.
Luckily, for UCF, the Owls haven’t had the hottest of starts to the season with a 6-4 record and coming off a 68-49 loss to Saint Joseph’s. Not a great sign heading into an important conference game. They did bounce back after opening the season with three losses in four games but that loss to St. Joe’s was pretty brutal and knocked their momentum down a few pegs.
Here are the odds for this matchup, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.
UCF vs. Temple Odds, Spread and Total
- UCF -4.5 (-110)
- Temple +4.5 (-110)
- UCF -200
- Temple +170
Total: 136 (Over -110/Under -110)
UCF vs. Temple Prediction and Pick
While the Owls are off to a rough start, they are not a bad team. I think that because of their brutal loss to St. Joe’s this spread is a bit higher than it should be. I look at Saturday’s loss as more of a speed bump than a performance we can expect to see again.
It should be noted that Temple is still trying to figure out its rotation after Khalif Battle was ruled out for the rest of the season after injuring himself against La Salle, but it has won two of three without their best guard and still have a lot of talent on the floor at any given time.
The defense of Nick Jourdain and Jake Forrester has frustrated opponents in the paint and their whole front line is over six-foot-five.
I do think that UCF is a better overall team today but the longer the Owls play without Battle the better they will adjust to his absence. I don’t think that UCF is five points better tonight however and will be siding with Temple at home to keep this game close.
Pick: Temple Owls +4.5 (-110)