Temple Owls (9-3 SU, 11-1 ATS) vs. Navy Midshipmen (9-2 SU, 7-3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday, December 3rd 2016, 12:00pm EST
Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium – Annapolis, MD
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEM +3 / NAVY -3
Over/Under Total: 62
Can you believe that the college football season is almost over? It is conference championship weekend and in no time we will not only know who is crowned champs of each conference, but the final four will work itself out and we will begin our path to a new national champion…unless Alabama wins it yet again. The first conference championship game on Saturday will be the American Athletic Conference title game between the Temple Owls and the Navy Midshipmen. It is a complete stunner that Houston did not make it to this game, but that is why we play the games. Both Navy and Temple are very deserving and this should be a good one.
As of late Monday night, Navy was a three point favorite over Temple while the total points were set at 62 combined. Against the spread this season, both teams were very impressive. Navy went 7-3-1 against the spread while Temple was a staggering 11-1. The 11-1 is due to them being undervalued by the public all season long and hey, maybe that is this case this weekend? Right now, Navy is getting most of the love from the betting public with over 70% of the action. If this continues, I think we could see a 4.5 – 5 point spread come kickoff on Saturday, if not higher. Is Temple being undervalued again?
The Temple Owls just a few years ago were one of the worst teams in the entire nation. Not just that, Temple as a program is considered one of the worst FBS football programs in history. Over the last few seasons, they have become respected and now here they are playing for a conference title. The Owls finished the season at 9-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play. One of their three losses was by one score to Penn State and they only lost by double digits in their 28-13 loss to Army. How has Temple risen from the ashes to become a respected opponent for most teams? Defense. The Temple Owls are ranked 10th in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 17.8 points per game. That with the combination of an offense that has a pulse scoring over 30 a game will equal wins…and it has. The Temple defense will have its hands full against Navy. The Midshipmen run the triple option offense which is not easy to prepare for in such a short period of time. Navy runs the ball, then they run the ball, and after they run the ball, they run it more. They are averaging 342 yards per game on the ground while passing for just 128 per contest which ranks them 125th in the FBS in passing and 2nd in rushing. Teams know what is coming, but the offense is so disciplined, it does not matter. Temple must stay in their lanes, make tackles, and keep that Navy offense on the sideline.
While Temple’s defense will have their work cut out for them, lets not let Navy off the hook. The Midshipmen are not a huge favorite in this game as much as the public seems to think. Temple can play, flat out play on both sides of the ball. Navy is allowing opponents to score over 30 points per game and they barely even crack the top 75 ranking in team scoring defense. The triple option is a deadly offense, but it is not one you want to run when you are behind. If the Navy defense allows Temple to go up early, this game may not play out well for them. Lets also not forget that this is not Navy’s last game of the season. As strange as it may sound, Navy is playing for a conference title and still have one regular season game left next week…Army. Is Navy looking ahead to their biggest game of the year? Or are they tuned in to a Temple team that could potentially give them problems?
This game is a tough one but I am going with the trend that appears to have taken place all season. Temple getting no love and covering the spread. These guys are 11-1 against the odds and to be honest, I think this game means more to them than it does to Navy. Not saying Navy would not enjoy an AAC title, but I think the Army game next week could be a distraction. Temple is going to win this game 31-27 on a late touchdown. Watch!
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE TEMPLE +3!
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