College Football Picks: Temple at Notre Dame Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 8/2/2013
The Temple Owls, out of new American Athletic Conference, will be in South Bend on Saturday, Aug.31 in an opening-day clash against the No.11-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
Temple went 9-4 in 2011 in its final season as a member of the Mid-American Conference. It dropped to 4-7 both straight up and against the spread last year as a member of the Big East with a 2-5 record in conference play. The total went “over” in six of 10 games.
Notre Dame’s impressive run to a 12-0 SU record that earned the team a trip to the BCS Championship Game ended on a tough note with a 42-14 loss to Alabama in the title game as a 10-point underdog. The Irish were not the best team to wager on last season with a 7-6 record ATS. The total stayed “under” in 10 of their 13 games.
Temple at Notre Dame Storylines
The Owls will take the field with Matt Rhule as their new head coach in place of Steve Addazio, who has taken over the reins in Boston College. Rhule has the tall task of turning around a program that has certainly seen its share of ups and downs over the years. One of the biggest issues he will have to address is a passing offense that ended 2012 ranked 120th in the nation with an average of 120.8 yards a game. The loss of running back Montel Harris, who rushed for 1,054 yards last year, only makes this task all the more difficult.
Temple returns a couple of key starters on defense in Nate D. Smith and Sean Daniels, but overall there is quite a bit of work to be done on this side of the ball as well, The Owls allowed an average of 31.2 points a game last season, which was ranked 88th in Division IA.
Notre Dame’s chances to return to the top of the rankings this season took a major hit this offseason with the loss of quarterback Everett Golson due to a suspension. He will be replaced by senior Tommy Rees, who was the team’s primary starter in 2011. The loss of tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Cierre Wood to the NFL will also leave some major holes to fill on offense.
The good news for the Irish is that they return eight starters on a defense that was ranked second in the nation in points allowed in giving up an average of just 12.8 points a game. This unit’s leader, Manti Te’o, has moved on, but it still has two potential first-round draft picks up front in Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix. The Irish also come into this season with most of their secondary intact from last year, so they should be able to pick up where they left off.
Notre Dame has been opened as a 25-point home favorite by BetOnline in its early lines for Week 1 of the college football season. The total for this game has been set at 47.
The Owls are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games against D-IA Independents but just 1-5 ATS in their last six nonconference games. The total has gone over in five of their last seven games on the road.
The Fighting Irish are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games. The total has stayed under in 20 of their last 27 games at home and in 33 of their last 51 nonconference games.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams in recent memory.
College Football Picks: Temple at Notre Dame Betting Predictions
Temple had some major trouble last season against the better teams it faced in the Big East, which only goes to prove it has a ways to go before it is ready to face a prime-time program like Notre Dame. Add in the fact that the Irish will want to get the taste of their loss to Alabama out their mouths as quickly as possible, and we are looking at a rout in this matchup that easily covers the 25-point spread.
Got free picks? Doc’s does. And for new clients we would like to offer you $60 in free member’s college football picks from Doc’s Sports Advisory Board of college football handicapping experts. Click here to sign up today. We never require a credit card for this offer, and you will never have to deal with a salesman.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
Get all of this Weeks College Football Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Football Picks