The college football season is here! The college football mid-major betting report returns for another season here at Doc's Sports. The goal of this weekly article is to attempt to show that specialization is a profitable betting strategy. For the mid-major betting report, we follow one team all year long and make selections on that particular team's games on a weekly basis. The Temple Owls have been selected as the team to follow this season.
Through the first three years of the mid-major betting report, we had some tremendous results. In those three years combined, the selections went 18-12 and the profit for $100-per-game bettors was $1,590. Last year's report was a whole different story. We followed the Akron Zips last season, and I simply couldn't get a good read on that team. The result was a 3-8 season with a loss of $1,180. We look to get things back on track this year.
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The American Athletic Conference should be a really exciting conference to follow this year with several new high-profile head coaches. There will be some teams looking to win high-scoring shootouts and other teams looking to win with a staunch defense. The intrigue of the conference as a whole was one of the reasons for the Temple Owls selection for this season's report.
I'll follow Temple Owls beat writers, listen to team press conferences, and I'll follow the team and players on Twitter as we look to find interesting bits of information. There will be a selection at the end of each article on the game. We'll be using the Doc's Sports Unit Betting System for every pick, which will allow readers to follow along and track the results.
Game One: Penn State at Temple
The Penn State Nittany Lions travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Temple Owls this weekend. This game will be televised by ESPN. This is an intrastate battle that means a lot to the Owls. Penn State is clearly the football program with more history, and they get far more notoriety. These teams have met nine times since 2003. Though several have been close, Penn State has won all nine games. Temple would love nothing more than to be able to upset the Nittany Lions and jump start their season in a big way.
Bill O'Brien did a really good job with this Penn State program during their sanctions, and James Franklin stepped right in and kept things moving in the right direction last season. They finished with an overtime win over Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl. The Nittany Lions offensive line was horrendous last year. If they are going to get better, that is the unit to watch. Penn State's offensive front allowed QB Christian Hackenberg to be sacked 44 times last season. They also averaged a measly 2.9 yards per carry. On the other hand, Penn State's defense gave up only 18.6 points per game, and opponents ran for only 2.9 yards per carry.
Notes of Interest
-Franklin spoke this week about how as good as the defense of Penn State was last year, he would really like to see that unit force more turnovers this season. Penn State finished -5 in turnover margin in 2014.
-Temple Coach Matt Rhule is a graduate of Penn State University, where he played linebacker for the Nittany Lions. That makes this weekend's game even more intriguing. Rhule is getting his second chance at knocking off his alma mater this Saturday.
-How many years has it been since Temple beat Penn State? 74 years! That's one heck of a drought.
-One big concern for Temple fans is the fact that their top pass rusher might not be available for this one. Praise Martin-Oguike was a second-team all AAC player last year, and he racked up 7.5 sacks. Rhule said this week, "We need Praise to be healthy. I think he tried to limp around and get a couple snaps on Tuesday." He continued by saying, "I just don't know that he's even close to full speed to go play this week." This is definitely something to keep an eye on later this week.
-Penn State is 6-0 against the spread in their last six nonconference games.
-Temple is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games against a Big Ten opponent.
-The 'under' is 6-1 in the Owls last seven games against a Big Ten opponent.
-The under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings between these two teams.
Penn State vs. Temple College Football Odds
Penn State opened as a six-point favorite at most sportsbooks. The Nittany Lions have slowly shifted to a 6.5-point favorite at about half the books and a 7-point favorite at the rest of the books. The posted total opened at a very low mark of 38.5 points. It has been bet up in the past day or so to a level of 42 points.
Penn State vs. Temple College Football Picks
Penn State's defense should be at least as good as they were a year ago. Temple's defense returns 10 starters, and I expect them to be able to win the battle in the trenches even if Martin-Oguike can't play. Still, it's hard to see the Owls offense getting much going in this contest. It is tempting to grab the touchdown with the home underdog, but I like the under better. The under has been a good play in the past when these teams play, and with the makeup of these teams I think it will be again this year.
Pick #165 - 2-Unit Play: Take UNDER 42
Season Results- 0 Wins 0 Losses ($0)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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