Memphis Tigers (5-3 SU, 5-2-1 ATS) vs. Temple Owls (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date and Time:Friday, November 7, 7:30pm EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MEM -7/TEM +7
Over/Under Total: 52.5
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Friday night on ESPNU, the Memphis Tigers will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Temple Owls in an American Conference showdown. Both teams come in at 5-3 overall, while Memphis sits at 3-1 in the conference and Temple is 3-2. This is not the sexiest of games to watch, but I do believe it could be a competitive game that comes down to the very end, which is all we can ask for on a Friday night game with two American Conference teams.
The line opens with the Memphis Tigers as a touchdown road favorite, while the total points are set a 52.5. Against the spread so far this season, Memphis is 5-2-1, while the Owls are 4-4. This line is interesting since Temple is coming off their most impressive win in years, while Memphis is coming off a beatdown of a bad Tulsa team.
Memphis is 5-3, just like Temple is, but most would assume that the Tigers are the better team. Two of the three losses for Memphis this season were against top 15 teams (UCLA, Ole Miss). Even factoring in those two games in which they played Power Five Conference contenders, they are still one of the statistically best teams in the nation from top to bottom. Memphis ranks 15th in the nation in scoring defense, 22nd in offensive scoring, and 37th in rushing. This is actually a pretty good team. Led by quarterback, Paxton Lynch, the Tigers are pretty good in the air too. Averaging 242 yards a game passing, the Memphis offense is ranked 59th in the nation in that category. In order to go into Philly and get this road win and cover, Memphis will need to play a full game on both sides of the ball. If Brandon Hayes can get things going on the ground like he did last week against Tulsa, gaining 199 yards and three touchdowns. If he can repeat this, Temple will be done in for by the 3rd quarter. On the other hand, Memphis just needs to play disciplined defense. They should have the advantage against Temple, but they cannot get lazy…. they must play hard for four quarters.
The Temple Owls are coming off a stunning win over the East Carolina Pirates. No one saw that coming, no one! East Carolina is one of the nations best passing teams, and Temple held them to just 10 points for the entire game. The Temple defense has played pretty well all season, holding Vanderbilt to just seven points in week one, shutting out Delaware State, and holding three other opponents to just 10 points. The Owls defense is averaging just 18.4 points a game allowed, which is good enough for 11th best in the entire FBS. This is a SOLID defense. Now, offensively…ouch. Temple suffers on that side of the ball. The Owls rank 112th in rushing offense, 93rd in passing, and barely crack the top 70 in scoring. I do believe Temple can make this game competitive, but it cannot all fall on the defense, the offense must help out some as well. If Temple can have an early scoring drive or two, this could get the defense the rest its needed to keep the game low scoring and make it interesting in the 4th quarter. However, if the offense does not put up some points, this game could get out of hand very early.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is an interesting game. Both teams are capable of getting a straight up win, but both teams are also capable of getting blown out (more so Temple), but I like that. I believe the public is still fading Temple due to them being so bad for so many years. This Temple teams in the last three or so years has improved in a big way. I like Memphis to fight and get the win, but I think it will remain close and low scoring. Memphis wins this game 20-14. PICK TEMPLE +7 AND UNDER THE 52.5 TOTAL POINTS