Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

Thursday's Tip Sheet

ATS RankingsMatchups

Temple at Houston – 7:00 PM EST – ESPN2

Every team in the country has been dealt at least one defeat this season, while five squads own only one loss. One of those five clubs is Houston (20-1 SU, 14-6-1 ATS), who is the first team to reach 20 victories after beating Tulsa on Sunday, 77-65 as 7 ½-point road favorites. The Cougars have covered in six of seven AAC wins, while posting a perfect 15-0 record at Ferfitta Center.

The only blemish on the season for Kelvin Sampson’s squad came on January 9 in Philadelphia to Temple in a 73-69 defeat. The Owls (15-5 SU, 8-10-2 ATS) held off the Cougars after building a nine-point lead in the second half, aided by 22 points from guard Quinton Rose. Both teams shot under 40% from the floor, while Temple converted 25-of-28 free throws to snap a three-game skid to Houston dating back to January 2017.

Temple is riding an eight-game OVER streak, coming off a 72-68 setback to Cincinnati on Sunday. The Owls were on their way to a cover as 3 ½-point home underdogs, leading the Bearcats, 41-27 two minutes into the second half. However, Cincinnati rallied back to take the lead with less than six minutes remaining as the Owls were handed their first AAC home loss in four tries this season.

Arizona at Arizona State – 9:00 PM EST – ESPN2

It’s the first of two meetings for these Grand Canyon State rivals as the schools hook up in Tempe on Thursday. Arizona (14-7 SU, 10-10-1 ATS) jumped out to an impressive 4-0 start in Pac-12 play, but the Wildcats have gone backwards of late by dropping three of the past four games. The last two defeats in Los Angeles were especially ugly as Arizona lost by 23 points at USC last Thursday and suffered a 21-point setback at UCLA on Saturday.

Arizona State (14-6 SU, 10-9-1 ATS) also spent the weekend in the City of Angels and picked up a split after winning at UCLA and dropping a two-point decision at USC. The Sun Devils were tripped up by Utah as 11-point favorites in their Pac-12 opener, but ASU has not lost in Tempe since then by beating Colorado, Oregon, and Oregon State at Wells Fargo Arena. Last season, Bobby Hurley’s squad put together a dreadful 4-12-2 ATS mark in conference play, but the Sun Devils have already started 4-4 ATS inside the league.

This series has been owned by Arizona, who has captured the last six meetings over the previous three seasons. Since ASU upset Arizona as 8 ½-point underdogs in 2015, the Wildcats have won three straight in Tempe, including a seven-point victory last February.

Gonzaga at BYU – 11:00 PM EST – ESPN2

The top team in the West Coast Conference since 2000 remains on that pedestal this season as Gonzaga (19-2 SU, 15-6 ATS) sits atop the league with a perfect 6-0 mark. The Bulldogs have won all six WCC games by 18 points or more, including a 98-39 thrashing of Santa Clara as a 21-point road favorite last Thursday. Gonzaga jumped out to a 53-17 halftime lead and never looked back as six Bulldogs scored in double-figures, led by 18 points from Josh Perkins. The victory snapped a two-game ATS slide as the Bulldogs improved to 4-2 ATS inside the WCC.

The Bulldogs head to Provo for their first meeting with BYU (13-9 SU, 9-13 ATS) since whipping the Cougars in last season’s WCC tournament championship, 74-54. BYU bounced back from a 19-point setback at San Francisco to knock off St. Mary’s at home, 71-66 last Thursday as short underdogs. The Cougars have hit the UNDER in four of the past five games, while avenging a 20-point road loss to the Gaels earlier this month. BYU moved to 10-1 at home on the season, while winning nine of the past 10 home contests against WCC foes with the lone loss coming to Gonzaga last season.

Gonzaga grabbed all three meetings from BYU in 2018, including a 14-point triumph in Provo. BYU has lost seven of the past 10 matchups with Gonzaga, but interestingly enough all three wins came in Spokane. The last time the Cougars beat the Bulldogs at home was back in 2014, while the last victory by BYU in the series occurred in 2017 as hefty 21-point road underdogs.

Conference USA Action

Old Dominion took a trip to Meltdown City on Saturday as the Monarchs (6-3 in C-USA) squandered a 17-point deficit in the final four minutes of regulation in a 74-73 setback at UTSA. The Monarchs not only saw their five-game winning streak end, but ODU slipped to 2-7 ATS in league action. ODU hosts North Texas (6-2 in C-USA) in a battle of two of the top four teams in the league. The Mean Green bounced back from a three-point home loss to UAB by ripping Middle Tennessee, 70-53. UNT is listed as a conference underdog for the first time this season, while posting a 6-1 ATS mark as a C-USA road ‘dog in 2018.

Rice and Charlotte have each struggled of late as both teams have dropped four of their last five games. The Owls (3-5 in C-USA) have hung in their past three setbacks to UTEP, North Texas, and UAB as Rice lost by a total of five points in those defeats. Charlotte (2-7 in C-USA) has been a beast from an ATS perspective by covering in seven of the past eight contests, including in four straight home games. Rice captured the only meeting last season in a 73-64 victory as a 1 ½-point home underdog.

Both Southern Mississippi and FIU sit in the middle of the conference standings as the teams meet in Miami. The Golden Eagles (4-5 in C-USA) are coming off a demolishing effort against Marshall by handing the Thundering Herd a 50-point defeat last Saturday. Southern Miss has taken care of its business at home in conference play by going 4-1, but is 0-4 away from Hattiesburg. FIU (4-4 in C-USA) has alternated wins and losses in league action after losing by 17 points at home to rival FAU. The Panthers are 1-2 at home in C-USA play, while splitting two meetings with Southern Miss last season.

Louisiana Tech has been tremendous at home (12-0), but has slumped to a 3-7 record away from Ruston. The Bulldogs (5-4 in C-USA) head to Boca Raton to face FAU (3-5 in C-USA), as the Owls snapped a four-game skid by routing FIU last Saturday. Louisiana Tech is coming off a pair of impressive home wins over Marshall and Western Kentucky, but the Bulldogs own an 0-4 road record in C-USA play, including two losses as an away favorite.

Marshall jumped out to an impressive 5-0 record in C-USA play, but the Thundering Herd (5-3 in C-USA) has lost three straight games. The Herd played one of its worst games in program history in last Saturday’s 101-51 drubbing at Southern Miss as Marshall shot 25% from the floor. Marshall hosts UTEP (2-6 in C-USA), as the Miners ended a three-game losing streak in a four-point victory over Charlotte. UTEP failed to cover as five-point favorites, dropping its ATS mark to 1-7, which includes an 0-3 ATS ledger away from El Paso.

UTSA pulled off the comeback of the season by shocking Old Dominion last Saturday by ending the game on a 22-4 run to edge the Monarchs, 74-73. The Roadrunners (6-2 in C-USA) moved to 5-0 at home in league action, but UTSA will try to end a two-game road skid with a trip to Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers (4-4 in C-USA) bounced back from a three-game losing streak to win three consecutive contests prior to a 12-point setback at Louisiana Tech. WKU is riding a six-game UNDER streak, including three straight UNDERS at home.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

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