The college football mid-major betting report is back for a fourth 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. Temple was selected this year because of the intrigue surrounding the team and the American Athletic Conference as a whole.
The Temple Owls started the season in style with a massive win over the Penn State Nittany Lions last weekend. It was Temple's first win over Penn State in 74 years! They didn't make any doubt about who was the better team last weekend, either. Temple won 27-10 and dominated all the major statistical categories in the game.
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 hope to get back into the black with the report this year.
I'll follow Temple Owls beat writers and listen to the team's press conferences. I'll also 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.
After one quarter it looked like it would be more of the same. Penn State led Temple 10-0 after the first quarter last weekend. The Nittany Lions didn't score again the rest of the game. Temple closed the gap to 10-7 by halftime. They outscored Penn State 20-0 in the second half and ended up breaking the long losing streak.
The last time Temple defeated Penn State in football, the late Joe Paterno was only 14 years old. It was also two months before the United States got involved in World War II. Gasoline cost 12 cents per gallon the last time Temple beat Penn State. It wasn't as if these teams hadn't played, either. Penn State was 38-0-1 against Temple since 1941. Temple ended that winless run with a monumental win for the program.
How did they do it? Temple's defensive line dominated the Nittany Lions offensive front. They sacked Christian Hackenberg 10 times. The Penn State line that was supposed to be improved looked even worse than last year. Penn State attempted 25 passes and finished with only 103 yards through the air.
Temple dominated time of possession, keeping the ball for more than 36 minutes of the game. The offense was balanced, and P.J. Walker completed 16 of his 21 pass attempts. Temple had 313 yards of total offense compared to Penn State's 183.
Last week's selection was 'under' 42, so we cashed in for a 2-Unit winner in Week 1.
Notes of Interest
-Temple got the historic win for the program, but now the team has to continue to build from that momentum rather than suffering a letdown. They play at Cincinnati this week. The Bearcats were the preseason favorites in the AAC East.
-Temple coach Matt Rhule received a call from Bruce Arians, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, after the Owls win last week. Arians was the head coach at Temple from 1983 to 1988.
-A record crowd of 69,176 fans saw the Owls win over Penn State. Temple was named the Football Writers Association of America "Team of the Week" for the first week of 2015.
-The final thing Matt Rhule said to his Temple players after the game on Saturday was, "This can't be the highlight of our season." Rhule wants his players to strive for more and not simply be satisfied with a big win in early September.
-The game this weekend is a tremendous clash of styles. Cincinnati likes to win the high-scoring games with their spread offense. Temple wants to win with their stout defense. Last year, Cincinnati won 14-6 at Temple. The Owls actually outgained Cincinnati by 12 yards, but they lost the all-important turnover battle.
-Temple is 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 road games.
-Cincinnati is 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven conference games.
-The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams.
-The under is 5-1 in Temple's last six games.
-The under is 6-2 in Cincinnati's last eight conference games.
Temple vs. Cincinnati College Football Odds
The Cincinnati Bearcats opened as a 7.5-point favorite over Temple. That line has gradually slipped under a touchdown, and Temple is now only a 6.5-point underdog. The posted total opened at 51 points, but it has jumped all the way up to 55.
Temple vs. Cincinnati College Football Picks
The Temple offense might be a little better than it was a year ago, but the defense is likely better than last year as well. Only one of Temple's games against FBS opponents went 'over' 55 points last year, and that was a 35-24 win over Tulsa. Cincinnati's offense is good, but Temple's defense should be the best in the AAC. The side is tricky here with this as a big letdown spot for Temple, but I do like the under. For the second straight week, I'll make a 2-Unit play on the under.
Pick #321 - 2-Unit Play: Take UNDER 55
Season Results- 1 Win 0 Losses (+$200)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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