Ohio Bobcats vs. Temple Owls Betting Odds and Pick to Cover the Point Spread

Ohio Bobcats (7-3 SU, 7-3 ATS) vs. Temple Owls (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS),
Week 12 NCAA Football, 8:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, November 16, 2010,
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa., TV: ESPN2

by Badger of Predictem.com

Betting Odds: Ohio +7.5/Temple -7.5
Over/Under Total: OFF

One week after the battle for the Western Division of the Mid-
American Conference was played out on ESPN2 on Tuesday Night, this
week its the Eastern Division of the MAC thats up for grabs when
the Ohio Bobcats travel to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia to
take on the Temple Owls.

Both teams enter the huge MAC showdown in a three-way tie with Miami
(OH) atop the East standings at 5-1. But Ohio has already beaten
Miami head-to-head, and Temple will finish their regular season at
Miami (on Nov. 23), so Tuesdays winner will take a major step
towards the MAC title game in December.

Both teams enter the game on a roll too.

Ohio has won six straight coming into Tuesday, including a 34-17
victory over Buffalo at home in Athens back on November 4th.
Quarterback Boo Jackson ran for two scores and threw for another, and
the Bobcat defense held Buffalo to just 208 total yards in the 17-
point victory.

Temple has won four straight entering play on Tuesday, with their
last one coming in the form of a 28-10 victory over Kent State on the
road. The Owls will also be trying to keep their record at home in
The Linc perfect this season, as they are a perfect 5-0 thus far
including a huge early-season win over UConn.

The early betting line out of Las Vegas lists Temple as 7.5-point
favorites at home. With the point spread just a few hours old,
theres been no movement in either direction thus far.

There has yet to be an over/under total released for the game as of
press time.

Both teams have gotten to the point of playing for a chance as the
Easts representative in the MAC title game because of defense. In
fact, I dont expect the total for this game to be very high once
its released because both of these teams are coached by old-school
coaches (Ohios Frank Solich and Temples Al Golden) who preach a
grind-it-out running approach to offense that is more about playing
field position football for their defense.

Ohios Jackson is a better running quarterback than a passer, as his
touchdown-to-interception ratio (14-to-13) so clearly illustrates.
The Bobcats average 177 yards a game on the ground (38th in NCAA), so
something will have to give in regards to the running game in this
contest because Temples defense is ranked 21st in the country by
allowing just 121 yards per game.

If Temple can force Ohio into third-and-long situations they should
be able to capitalize on mistakes made by Jackson, who has thrown
five picks in his last two games and at least one pick in all but one
of the games during the Bobcats win streak. Receiver Terrence McCrae
is Jacksons main (and only) target when the Bobbies do pass, as
McCrae has 403 yards and nine touchdowns on the season already, so
look for Temple to roll the coverage his way on passing downs.

As strong as Temples run defense has been this season, Ohios has
been better allowing just 115.9 yards a game which is good for the
16th-best mark in the country. Again, this sets up a interesting
matchup with Temples offensive scheme since they run the ball for
nearly as many yards (165.2 ypg) and they do passing (174 ypg).

But thats not to say that the Owls cant throw the ball, because
they can including a 21-of-29, 368-yard effort out of QB Mike Gerardi
in the victory over Kent State last time out. They just prefer to put
it on running back Bernard Pierce (728 yds., 11 TD) shoulders, since
Pierce is the Owls main weapon on offense.

Ohio holds a 2-1 advantage in the head-to-head series between these
two schools, winning last years game 35-17 at home as 2-point
underdogs. The Owls only victory in the series (which started when
the Owls joined the MAC in 2007) came in 2008 at home by virtue of a
14-10 victory.

Ohio is 2-0-1 ATS in the series, with the lone blemish of a push
coming in that same 2008 game in Philly. Ohio is 15-5-1 ATS in their
last 21 MAC Conference games, including an 8-3 ATS mark in their last
11 road games.

Two of the three games have ended under the total, with the only
exception coming in last seasons 52-point output in a game that
closed at 43.5. The under is 5-2 in Ohios last seven MAC games, and
its 5-1 in the Owls last six MAC games.

Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Temple has more balance on offense, and a stronger
defense that has only allowed 10 points in the past three weeks
combined (alright, it was Akron, Buffalo and Kent State, but you get
my point). Plus theyre playing at home in Philly, in a game that has
title implications all over it something that just hasnt happened
at Temple, ever, so motivation will be sky high for this one. Im on
Temple here. Take Temple minus the 7.5 points.