The week 11 edition of the NCAA Football Mid-Major Betting Report is ready to go! It's year No. 4 for this article at Doc's Sports. The goal of this weekly piece is to attempt to show that specialization can be a profitable betting strategy. For the mid-major betting report, we follow one team throughout the season and make selections on their games on a weekly basis. Temple was picked this year because of the intrigue surrounding the conference as well as their ability to have a breakout season. Temple has done far better than even the most optimistic fan could have assumed so far this year. We're now into the middle of November, but Temple has some very important games coming up. Can the Owls win the American Athletic Conference?
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In 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 totally different story. We followed the Akron Zips last season, and I simply couldn't get a good read on the Zips. The result was a 3-8 season with a loss of $1,180.
I'll follow Temple Owls beat writers and listen to the team's press conferences for interesting points to bring up in these articles. I'll also use a variety of sources to look for important information about the team on Twitter. 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.
Temple beat SMU 60-40 in a wild shootout last Friday night. At the end of last week's article, I mentioned how I decided to not make a play in last week's game because I thought there were too many unknowns. In game that ended up being crazy in so many ways, I think that was a good decision.
Temple led 45-31 almost halfway through the fourth quarter when SMU registered a safety on a Temple holding penalty in the end zone. On Temple's kickoff, SMU returned it 80 yards for a touchdown and cut the deficit to 45-40. Temple had to punt the ball back, and SMU got the ball with a chance to take the lead. The Mustangs turned it over on downs on their own side with two minutes left. Temple then ran a long touchdown for a 53-40 lead. With 55 seconds remaining, the Owls intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown to finish the scoring in the 60-40 contest.
Temple racked up 536 total yards of offense. P.J. Walker had his best game of the year. Walker threw four touchdowns and no picks and ran for another touchdown. The Owls didn't turn the ball over at all, and SMU turned it over twice. Surprisingly, SMU averaged 4.9 yards per carry against this solid Temple defensive front.
Notes of Interest
-Freshman Jager Gardner had zero rushing yards on the season before he burst into the clear for a 94-yard touchdown run in last week's win. How special was that play? That became the longest run in Temple football history.
-A couple interesting notes from this week's press conference. Coach Matt Rhule talked about how Temple is averaging 39 points per game inside the conference. Rhule doesn't think his offense is getting the credit it deserves. Secondly, Rhule talked about how he was disappointed in Temple's special teams play last week against SMU. He also made note of the fact that this week's opponent, USF, is leading the conference in both yards per kickoff return and punt return.
-Marc Narducci, writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote an interesting piece about Temple's defense this week. He noted that DeShone Kizer ran for 143 yards against Temple two weeks ago and Matt Davis ran for 102 yards against them last week. They'll face Quinton Flowers of USF this week, and he's probably the best running quarterback they have faced all season. Rhule said he believes the Owls need to tackle better in space. Linebacker Stephaun Marshall said the unit needs to improve its concentration. Marshall said, "We are going back to focus on our job and details."
-Temple's defense continues to excel on third down. The Owls have allowed opponents to convert only 29.85 percent of the time on third-down-conversion attempts.
-Temple is 5-1 against the spread in their last six road games.
-Temple is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning record.
-USF is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four home games.
-The 'under' is a whopping 17-4 in USF's last 21 conference games.
-The under is 33-16-2 in USF's last 51 games overall.
Temple vs. USF College Football Odds
There's been a lot of line movement already in this one. Temple opened as a 5-point favorite at some books and a 4.5 point favorite at other books. Money quickly came in on South Florida here, and the Owls are now favored by a field goal in this one. The posted total opened at 48.5 points and has been bet down to 45 points.
Temple vs. USF College Football Picks
The early line movement here is very telling. When you see a big line movement like this early in the week, it is almost certainly sharp money. The public will be betting this one later in the week. With Temple's issues against running quarterbacks in recent weeks, I'm going to have to side with USF in this one. It's a small play for me, though, because Temple deserves respect for their body of work this year. USF has a high-quality defense as well, and this is a night game for a USF team that is much-improved in recent weeks. The under might have had some value at the opener, but I'll pass with the 3.5-point drop.
Pick #144- 1-Unit Play on USF +3
Season Results- 6 Wins 4 Losses (+$450)
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