Temple Owls (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) vs. SMU Mustangs (1-7 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Friday, November 6th, 8:00pm
Where:Gerald J Ford Stadium Dallas, TX
TV: ESPN 2
by Bob, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TEM -12 / SMU +12
Over/Under Total: 59.5
Friday night on ESPN2, tune and check out the Temple Owls and the SMU Mustangs in prime time. Temple comes in at 7-1 after a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame, while SMU has just had an entirely heartbreaking 2015 as they come in with just one win on the season at 1-7. This will be the second time these two teams have met since 1946. The last coming in 2013 when SMU won a shootout over the Owls by a 59-49 final score. This year is a little different however. Temple was ranked 21st heading into last weeks game against Notre Dame, while SMU has been pretty suckyand I hate to use the word sucky but, I mean, its true.
Temples great start and SMUs horrible 2015 has caused this games line to open with the Owls as a 14 point road favorite over the Mustangs. The over under for total points has been set at 59.5. Not only is Temple the much better team as well as the large favorite, but 71% of the betting public so far has the Owls as their pick. This will more than likely cause this line to shift and I could see it going as high as 14 or 14.5 by the time it closes late Friday night. 64% of the action on the total points has this game souring over the 59.5 that has been posted. Against the spread this year, SMU is 4-4 and Temple 6-2. And those are the records that matter most to us.
I am sure a few of you guys out there were doing just what I was doing late Saturday night last week and cheering on the Temple Owls. I was hoping they would pull off the huge win over Notre Dame. Even though they lost on a late touchdown, they played one heck of a game. The Temple defensive line from what I saw was no joke and they showed that they did absolutely belong in the discussion of being ranked although many naysayers acted as if Temple was a product of a weak schedule. Anyway, last week is over and Temple is no longer unbeaten. Losing a game like that can usually mean one of two things: 1) Temple was greatly let down and will not be up for a game against SMU, or 2) Temple is angry and now out to prove that the first seven games of the season were not a fluke and they are still among the nations best teams. I cannot tell you which one will show up, because I have no idea. Through the first eight weeks of 2015, the Owls are successful mainly because of their defense. They are ranked 9th in all of the FBS allowing just 15.8 points per game. Their offense is not awful, averaging exactly 30 per game. This game will be simple for the Owls and that is to come in focused and ready to play. They are still ranked and are still playing for a conference title and a decent bowl bid. I doubt they let the Mustangs catch them snoozing and get upset, but a 12 point spread could be very much in doubt if they do not play with the same intensity they came out with against the Fighting Irish this past Saturday night.
SMU really isnt playing for much right now. They are 1-7 but have suffered losses to some of the better teams in the nation including Baylor, TCU, and Houston, all who are unbeaten over halfway through the 2015 campaign. SMUs offense is not too bad averaging right at 28 points a game, but it is their 124th ranked defense that is giving up almost 45 points a game that has hindered their shot at winning. Again, however, how many teams would have a winning record playing the schedule that the Mustangs have so far? Not many. The key to winning this weekend, or should I say, the key to keeping this game close and respectable is going to come down to the SMU offense and defense, so yeah, the total team. Remember, Temple is not a high powered offense, but their defense puts them in positions to be successful. SMU will need their O line to come to play and allow quarterback, Matt Davis to get things going. Davis has passed for almost 2,000 yards in eight games, but he is also the teams leading rusher with almost 500 more yards on the ground. Davis has accounted for 21 of SMUs touchdowns this season. If he can get the offense rolling, this could be a fun game to watch.
I am telling you straight up, this is a tough game to pick. I could see Temple coming in with a chip on their shoulder and winning this game 45-13, but I could also see the opposite which is an uninspired team that is coming off a heartbreaking loss on national television. I will say this though, at 7-1, I will go with the team that has won games all season rather than the guys that are coming in with just one win. I like Temple to win this game easily and cover the spread. I do not see a blowout coming, but I like Temple in a 28-13 type game.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Pick the Temple Owls -12 and under the posted total of 59.5 points.
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