The Week 14 edition of the NCAA Football Mid-Major Betting Report is ready to go! It's the fourth year 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 their ability to have a breakout season. The fact that we even are able to write about Week 14, also known as Conference Championship Week, for the Temple Owls tells you all you need to know. This team broke out in a massive way! Even the most optimistic predictions didn't have Temple in the American Athletic Conference title game. The AAC is a good conference this year, but Temple made it all the way to the top of their side of the conference.
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 never got a good read on the Zips. The result was a 3-8 season with a loss of $1,180.
I've been following Temple Owls beat writers and listening to the team's press conferences for interesting points to bring up in these articles. There is 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 allows readers to follow along and track the results.
Temple was never pushed by Connecticut in their final regular-season game. The Owls led 10-0 at halftime and extended their lead to 20-0 by the end of the third quarter. As mentioned in last week's report, UConn was dealing with an injury to their starting quarterback, and the Huskies offense could never get going last week. UConn finished with an abysmal 138 yards. The Huskies gained nine yards on the ground, averaging just 0.3 yards per carry.
Temple had 321 yards of offense. The Temple offense really struggled to get going in the first half before finding some more success in the second half. The Owls ran for 161 yards. Temple possessed the ball for nearly 37 minutes. P.J. Walker threw for 161 yards and a touchdown.
Temple didn't have a single turnover last week, and they forced two Connecticut turnovers. The Owls committed only three penalties for a total of 15 yards in last week's contest.
Last week's selection of 'under' 41.5 points was a winner. That makes four straight winners for the selections.
Notes of Interest
-The first American Athletic Conference game was played on Sep. 7, 2013 in Philadelphia. The Houston Cougars and the Temple Owls were the participants in that first game. History repeats itself here, with the only difference being Temple must travel to Houston this time around. This is the first American Athletic Conference title game, and the participants are again Temple and Houston. AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco was on hand for the pregame coin toss in 2013, and he'll be there to do the same again this weekend. It's funny how history repeats itself!
-Tom Herman was named the AAC co-coach of the year on Wednesday. Herman has done an amazing job in his first year at Houston, and his name has come up as a leading candidate in many of the open positions around college football. Herman said on Monday he's agreed in principle to stay at Houston. The deal isn't signed and finalized just yet, but this news was definitely well-received in the Houston area.
-Temple's Matt Rhule is now being mentioned as a candidate for many jobs as well, and Rhule was asked about this and whether it could be a distraction for his team at this week's press conference. Rhule said, "I think our team is way too strong to be distracted about anything with me. I am honest with them and tell them everything." Rhule said he told players that this is a special week in the history of the Temple football program, and he doesn't want them to waste it thinking about him.
-Rhule said that Temple center Kyle Friend will start on Saturday at Houston after missing the last four games with an injury.
-Marc Narducci, writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote about Houston linebacker Elandon Roberts and how he has Temple's attention heading into this weekend's game. Roberts had 4.5 tackles for a loss in Houston's huge win against Navy last week. He also leads the team with 127 tackles on the year.
-Temple is 5-1 against the spread in their last six vs. a team with a winning record.
-The Owls are 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games.
-Houston is 25-11-1 ATS in their last 37 games following an outright win.
-The 'under' is 4-1 in Houston's last five games.
Temple vs. Houston College Football Odds
A lot of books opened this game at different prices, but we'll use online sportsbook giant Bookmaker and their opener of Houston -6.5 as the starting point this week. The line has moved around a bit this week, but Houston is currently favored by six points at most of the major books. The posted total opened at 57 points and has been bet down to 54.5.
Temple vs. Houston College Football Picks
Temple has had a fantastic season, and covering them in this report has been a lot of fun. I hate to go against them, but I'm going to have to in this one. The Owls have had one major weakness as a defense this year, and that is stopping running quarterbacks. Greg Ward Jr. is a tremendous runner, and I think he'll have a big day here. Ward is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and he has 17 rushing touchdowns on the year. I don't see Temple's offense as being dynamic enough to keep up with Houston's balanced attack. I'll take Houston -6 for a 2-Unit play this week.
Pick #322- 2-Unit- Play on Houston -6
Season Results- 9 Wins 4 Losses (+$750)
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