College Football Picks: Turnover Differential Prompts Taking Houston -6 vs. Temple

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, December 3, 2015 10:12 PM GMT

Our handicapper examines Saturday’s AAC Championship Game between Houston and Temple. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview article that culminates with his college football pick.

Owls and Cougars in AAC Title Game
The Houston Cougars (11-1) and Temple Owls (10-2) will meet in the AAC Championship Game on Saturday. The opening kickoff at TDECU Stadium in Houston is slated for Noon ET. Current (12/3) college football odds at Pinnacle indicate that Houston is a 5.5-point favorite, and the posted total is 54.5. Houston defeated Temple at home last season 31-10, and covered easily as a 9-point favorite.

 

Road Warriors
Temple went a stellar 5-1 on the road this season and covered on four of those occasions. They’re only road defeat came at the hands of a red-hot South Florida team that routed them 44-23. Their only other defeat came at home versus #8 Notre Dame in a game in which they squandered a 4th quarter lead. The Owls finished the regular season by winning their last two games over Memphis 31-12, and against Connecticut 27-3. Both of those contests took place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Their defensive numbers at home border on elite. However, on the road has been another story. Temple has allowed 25.0 points and 446.7 yards per contest in their six away games in 2015. In their last two road games against SMU and South Florida, Temple allowed a combined 84 points in addition to 953 yards of total offense amassed by those opponents.

 

Strong Home Field
The Houston Cougars have gone a perfect 7-0 at home this season, and have outscored opponents by an average of 21.9 points per game. They’re an explosive offensive team that averages 42.0 points and 499.7 yards of total offense per contest. This is a Houston team that’s a terrific +15 in the turnover department this season.

 

The Straw that stirs the Drink
The catalyst of the Houston offense has been their quarterback Greg Ward. The junior has thrown for 2502 yards, 16 touchdowns, and completed an absurd 69.3% of his pass attempts. Ward is also a dangerous runner that’s rushed for 893 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. It’s by no coincidence, Houston suffered their lone defeat of the season two weeks ago at Connecticut, and Ward missed that contest with an ankle injury. Ward was still less than 100% in last week’s 52-31 division clinching win over Navy. Despite being still hobbled by a sore ankle, Ward ran for 83 yards and a score, passed for another 308, in addition to tossing 3 touchdown passes.

 

College Football Betting Angle and Pick
Any conference home favorite (Houston) of 3 to 9, coming off a home underdog straight up win by 15 points or more, resulted in those home teams going 18-3 ATS (85.7%) since 1992. I’m going with the home favorite for one of my college football picks this week.

College Football Picks: Play on Houston -5.5 (-106) at Pinnacle

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