Add Temple +6 to Your College Football Picks vs. Houston

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, December 3, 2015 7:59 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 7:59 PM GMT

We analyze the AAC Championship game between the Temple Owls and the Houston Cougars and offer our Feline Feature of the Week college football pick.

Temple vs. Houston (-6) Noon ET ABC TV
Our Feline Feature of the Week switches gears a bit when we Fade the Houston Cougars in the AAC Championship Game.  At Noon ET today, as televised on ABC TV, the Temple Owls visit Houston for this AAC Championship contest.  It is a battle of two teams led by emerging coaches, who have authored double digit winning seasons for their respective schools.  I favor the blue-collar work ethic of Temple in the underdog role to get the point spread victory in this game. 

 

Temple Owls
Three years ago, current Temple HC Rhule took over a 4-win Temple team.  In the 3 years at the helm, Rhule has built the program from 2 to 6 to 10 wins this year, including a 9-3 ATS pointspread log and 7-1 SU conference record.  The lone defeat in league play came at S. Florida November 14th in an uncharacteristically poor defensive performance by the Owls in which they allowed the Bulls to score 44 points.  Since that time, they have reverted to a staunch defense that shut-down explosive Memphis for a 31-12 victory, then last week concluded their conference slate with a 27-3 drubbing of UConn, in which they outrushed the Huskies 161-9 and held UConn to 138 total yards.  Clearly today’s challenge will be much greater against the high-powered Houston attack.  They will have the motivation of a (31-10) loss on this field to Houston on this field last season, when they suffered a (-5) net TO ratio.  Yet, this has been a good role for Temple this season, which has already defeated Penn State (27-10), Cincinnati (34-26), E. Carolina (24-14) and Memphis (31-12) as underdog.  Their 5th game in the role of “short” was a (24-20) loss but cover against Top 10 Notre Dame.  That makes Temple 5-0 ATS as underdog this year.

 

Houston Cougars
Unlike Temple HC Rhule, 1st year Houston HC Herman (the former OC at Ohio St.) inherited a Houston team who recorded a pair of 8 win seasons, the previous 2 years.  The offense has long been a 30 PPG producer.  But, behind QB Ward and the offensive guidance of Herman, the Cougars have taken it to another level with a 200 Club offense that averages 41/495.  That includes the regular season ending victory last week against a stout Navy team Whom They Outrushed 218-147 and gained 555 yards in a (52-31) victory.  Though Houston has had a solid defensive season once again (they have allowed 22 or less points in each of the previous 3 years), there have been some defensive cracks in the armor, when they have allowed 30 or more points, 4 times, to Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis and Navy (with the latter 3 of those in the last month). 

Much like their contest against Notre Dame, Temple backers will be holding their breath, as the Owls continually rebuff a high-powered attack and use the workmanlike, blue collar mentality of running game and defense to stay competitive in this.  It may not be pretty, but I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor with my college football pick on the Temple Owls, as they turn the Cougar roar into a whimper.

College Football Picks: Temple +6 at Heritage

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