It's time for the ninth edition of the NCAA Football Mid-Major Betting Report. This is the fourth year Doc's Sports has done this article. The goal of this weekly piece is to attempt to show that specialization is 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. Selecting Temple to follow has been a terrific move. The Owls are having a bigger breakout season than I could have ever imagined. Heading into this weekend, Temple is unbeaten and ranked No. 21 in the latest Associated Press Top 25. Their biggest game in decades is this weekend at home against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
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In the first three years of the mid-major betting report, we had some great 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.
I'll follow Temple Owls beat writers and listen to the team's press conferences for interesting tidbits. I'll also look for important information about the team on Twitter from a variety of sources. 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 was in a very tricky spot last weekend, and the Owls managed to come up with a really impressive win. In my opinion, last week's win was their best win of the year so far. Temple was facing an East Carolina team out for revenge, and it was a national television game on a weeknight. The game was built up heavily by East Carolina, and Temple came from behind to win 24-14.
Temple once again won the all-important turnover battle. East Carolina turned it over twice, while Temple had zero turnovers. The Temple front seven shut down the Pirates running attack. East Carolina averaged only 2.7 yards per carry.
Temple's running game couldn't get going, either. The Owls had only 72 rushing yards against East Carolina. Fortunately, P.J. Walker had 250 yards through the air and made great decisions with the football. Robby Anderson had eight catches and 126 yards receiving. Five of those catches were in the fourth quarter.
Last week's selections were on the 'under' as well as East Carolina. The two-unit play on the under cashed in comfortably. With Temple winning, the one-unit play on East Carolina -2.5 was a loss.
Notes of Interest
-ESPN's College GameDay will be at Temple this weekend. How about that for a program that was never even mentioned nationally just a few years ago? College GameDay will be broadcast at Independence Mall. This is a chance for both Temple and the city of Philadelphia to be showcased.
-Temple is 7-0 for the first time in the history of the school. Now, the Owls face by far their biggest test of the season when they take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame had a bye week last weekend, so they should come into this one ready to go.
-John Smallwood, columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, wrote about Temple's preparation for the Notre Dame game this weekend. He wrote about how the Temple players are focused on this being their next game and not listening to all the hype. Linebacker Jarred Alwan said, "It is another game, and we're trying to get another win. Sure, it's tough with all the talk, but we're preparing with the same process." Those outside the program are calling it the biggest game in Temple football history (and they are probably right), but Matt Rhule is working hard to keep his players grounded.
-This weekend will be a prime matchup between one team that is great at running the football and one team that is great at stopping the run. Notre Dame is averaging 5.95 yards per carry on the year. Temple is allowing only 2.94 yards per carry. Who wins that battle on Saturday? That's going to play a big role in the outcome of this game.
-Notre Dame is 5-0 against the spread in their last five games overall.
-Temple is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games.
-The 'over' is 10-3 in Notre Dame's last 13 games.
-The under is 7-2 in Temple's last nine nonconference games.
Notre Dame vs. Temple College Football Odds
The books opened Notre Dame as a 10- or 10.5-point favorite across the board, and there has been virtually no movement all week. Briefly, Notre Dame was only a 9.5-point favorite, but now the line is back to 10 or 10.5 everywhere. The posted total opened at 49 points and has since edged up to 50.
Notre Dame vs. Temple College Football Picks
This is a difficult game to handicap. I don't feel confident at all taking a side in this game. There's no doubt that Notre Dame has the much more talented team, but laying double digits against a defense as good as Temple's is tough to do. At the same time, I don't want to take Temple here because it is such a big step up in the level of competition they are playing. Instead, I'm going to make a small one-unit play on the under in this game. The posted total of 50 is higher than most Temple games, and the Owls would be happy to see a low-scoring contest here.
Pick #155- 1-Unit-Play on Notre Dame/Temple under 50
Season Results- 5 Wins 4 Losses (+$350)
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