College Football Pick: Temple +13½ over Rutgers

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The Temple Owls may be 1-7 straight up but they are on a four-game ATS winning streak and piled up 593 yards last week, so take the points at Rutgers Saturday.

It could be a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions Saturday afternoon when the Temple Owls (1-7, 0-4 away) pay a visit to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-3, 3-1 home) at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, NJ at 12:00 Noon ET in a game available on ESPN GamePlan and ESPN3

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Temple as a big underdog for this contest with the current line at +13½ with odds of -106.

Yes, Temple is 1-7 straight up, but the Owls have a winning 5-3 record against the spread thanks to their current four-game ATS win streak, with the fifth cover coming in good company at Notre Dame in their first game of the season.

Rutgers in the other hand may be 4-3 but it has lost two straight games straight up and is only 2-4 ATS in its last six games. The Scarlet Knights could also be a bit demoralized by the way they were blown out here at home by the Houston Cougars last week. Also, underdog Temple has faced a slightly tougher schedule according to the Sagarin Ratings ranking 63rd in the country in SOS compared to a 75th ranked SOS for Rutgers.

What has been noticeable for the Owls has been the improvement of the offense over the last three weeks, during which Temple is averaging 443.3 total yards of offense with 183.7 rushing yards on 5.0 yards per carry and 259.7 passing yards on a whopping 9.9 yards per pass attempt. Granted most of that passing success came last week in a 59-49 loss at SMU where P.J. Walker completed 26-of-37 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.

Add in an 83 yard touchdown pass by wide receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick on a trick play and 217 rushing yards on 6.0 yards per carry and the Owls totaled an amazing 593 total yards while losing by 10 points in a game effort. That running attack has been there through all three games of this recent resurgence by the offense, and that alone makes Temple dangerous as a double-digit underdog as it seems fully capable of milking some clock.

Rutgers was feelling good about itself heading into last week as it was 4-2 with the two losses both coming in covering efforts vs. ranked schools, losing by just one point at Fresno State and 24-10 at Louisville. However, the Scarlet Knights laid an enormous egg vs. what might be an underrated Houston team in an ugly 49-14 loss here at home, allowing a horrific 611 total yards including 211 rushing yards on 5.6 yards per carry to a Cougars’ team not known for its rushing attack.

That does not bode well for Rutgers as a big favorite here as if the run defense is again shoddy vs. what now looks like a very good Temple running game, it may permit Walker to be as successful passing the ball vs. a Rutgers pass defense ranked 123rd in the country as he was vs. SMU last week.

Add all of this up and Temple seems like an overlay catching this many points on Saturday.

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College Football Pick: Temple +13½ (-106)