Houston Cougars vs Temple Owls Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 01/02/2022

by James Q

Saturday, Jan 01, 2022

Houston Cougars vs Temple Owls Prediction, Spread and Trends to Watch - 01/02/2022

Game Time: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 2nd, 2022
Venue: Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Where to Watch:  ESPN

Opening NCAAB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings Sportsbook:  NL
Caesars:  Spread: NL
VegasInsider:  Spread: NL
BetOnline: Spread: NL

Season Record

Houston: 11-2 overall, 0-0 conf (AAC)
Temple: 7-5 overall, 0-1 conf (AAC)

The Houston Cougars are ranked #12 in the nation.  They have been rolling.  The two teams that have beaten Houston so far are the Alabama Crimson Tide in a pencil thin, heartbreaking 83-82 finish… and the Wisconsin Badgers in another heartbreaking single shot finish 65-63.  The Cougars are 3-4 points away from being undefeated.  Both Alabama and Wisconsin are quality teams that are also in the 10-3, 11-2 range.  Houston’s last game was an easy win over the Texas State Bobcats 80-47 and they easily covered a big 19.5 point point spread. The game ended in an Under as they were assigned a massive 128.5 total (massive for college basketball mismatches). The Cougars employ a hyper athletic 3 guards, two forwards starting five… 6’2 Point Guard Marcus Sasser leads the team in scoring, but it is a true team effort with quality and skill at every position.  The weakness would seem to be size… 6’2 guard Marcus Sasser and 6”1 guard Jamal Shead with 6’4 guard Kyler Edwards all at the same time, leaves an opening for any big NBA prospects in the skill positions to shoot over the top from virtually anywhere.  Yet until they run into someone who can and is willing to do it (the tournament), we have yet to see anyone who can easily handle Houston.

The Temple Owls are already off to a struggle this season.  They are wedged into 9th place in the American Athletic Conference.  With 5 losses so far and about to play Houston… the prospects aren’t good for this season.  Their last game was a “get right” game against the Delaware State Hornets.  Temple won 85-48, easily covering a 24.5 point point spread.  That is more an indictment of Delaware State.  When Temple plays actual college basketball programs with real aspirations for success in this season… they get stumped.  The Clemson Tigers, the USC Trojans, the Boise State Broncos, Saint Joseph’s Hawks, and the Central Florida Knights have all beaten Temple and the season is still young.  To make matters worse Guard Khalif Battle is out with a foot injury and his 21 ppg is out with him AND he won’t be back this season.
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Houston Cougars vs Temple Owls Preview and Analysis


Houston is 11-2 on the season, but 9-4 ATS.  They have logged 5 Overs and 8 Unders.  They are 0-1 in road games.

Temple is 7-5 on the season, but 6-6 ATS.  They have notched 5 Overs and 7 Unders.  They are 5-2 in home games.


Houston is 46th in the nation in points with 79.4 ppg, 43rd in rebounds with 36.7 rpg, and 33rd in AST/TO ratio for 1.4.  They are shooting the ball well at 48% FG,  37.3 3PT%,... the one downfall is the charity stripe where they are only hitting at 64.4%... that may be a big reason they have 2 losses by a combined 3 points.


Houston on defense has taken it to another level.  They are 7th in the nation while only allowing 56 ppg from opponents.  They hold opponents to an average of 37%FG and 28.6 3PT%.  As a team they are 67th in blocks with 4.5 per game.

Houston Cougars vs Temple Owls Prediction

Our prediction for Sunday, January 2nd is… Houston 88 - Temple 61

Houstopn will run Temple off the floor and you should be comfortable betting on any spread under -20.  

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NCAAF Betting Trends

Temple is 3-2 ATS over their last 5 games.
Temple has posted an Under in their last 3 games in a row.
Houston is 4-1 ATS over their last 5 games.
Houston has posted and Under in 4 of their last 5 games.

Starting Lineups

Houston: G Marcus Sasser, G Jamal Shead, G Kyler Edwards, F Josh Carlton, F Fabian White JR.

Temple: G Damian Dunn, G Jahlil White, G Jeremiah Williams, F Jake Forrester, F Nick Jourdain

Statistical Leaders

Points: Marcus Sasser 17.7
Assists: Jamal Shead 5.7
Rebounds: J’Wan Roberts 7.0
Steals: Marcus Sasser 2.1
Blocks: Fabian White Jr 1.2

Points: Khalif Battle 21.4
Assists: Jeremiah Williams 4.7
Rebounds: Damian Dunn 5.2
Steals: Damian Dunn 1.3
Blocks: Nick Jourdain 1.7


Houston:  Kelvin Sampson. Coach Sampson has a full resume of awesome jobs.  He has been the Head Coach of Washington State, Oklahoma, and Indiana.  He dipped his toe into assistant coaching at the NBA level with the Milwauklee Bucks and Houston Rockets.  He took the Houston Cougar job in 2014.  All total he is 667-333 in his entire Head Coaching career… pretty great stuff.

Temple: Aaron McKie.  Coach McKie played 13 seasons in the NBA at a high level… most notably as the backcourt mate of Allen Iverson in Philadelphia… where he won the NBA’s 6th man award in 2001.  He was an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers from 2008-2013, the an assistant with the Temple Owls from 2014-2019.  He took the Temple head coaching job in 2019 and now is the top guy at his alma mater!  Hopefully he can get Temple going soon.

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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