College Basketball Betting:  Iowa vs. Temple&h=253&w=372&zc=1

10 vs. 7 matchup between Iowa and Temple and this looks to be one of the strongest plays on Friday’s card. Iowa faded badly down the stretch in the Big 10 losing five in a row at one point. They limped into the Big Ten tournament and were summarily dispatched by a nothing special Illinois team. And now they come into the ‘Big Dance’ with zero momentum and all of a sudden they’re -7 favorites over a decent Temple team?

We’re not buying it. First of all, this isn’t your old school Temple team. Sure, we remember the nasty defensive teams that John Chaney put on the court for so many years. They were a great team to take points with since they played basketball like the Philadelphia Flyers played hockey. Not so much since Fran Dunphy took over. Dunphy has gone uptempo and that makes this line all the more absurd. Iowa also fancies themselves an ‘up tempo team’. Because nothing is more synonymous with the Big Ten than ‘run and gun’ basketball.

So here’s how we see this playing out–Iowa will come out and try to run Temple off the court. Shock will set in when they realize that Temple can play that game just as well as they can and arguably has the better individual athletes.

One thing that I’ve always looked for at tournament time are teams that can play well away from home. Conversely, I’ve also looked for teams that play poorly in tournament type situations. This can be oversimplified but if the other variables of the matchup are there (eg: Wichita State on Thursday night) this is the team you want to bet on (or against, as they case may be).

Iowa has been an awful team on neutral courts and in tournament games (obviously there is considerable overlap here). On neutral courts, Iowa is 1-4 ATS this year, 3-13 ATS L3 years. In tournament games, Iowa is 1-3 this year, 3-11 ATS L3 years. Temple was 5-2 on neutral courts but this is more of a play against Iowa than anything else. They look ripe for the picking and Temple is good enough to do the picking and cash our ticket.