Lay the Points With Temple In Military Bowl Clash Against Wake

Temple Owls QB

Jay Pryce

Friday, December 9, 2016 2:49 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 2:49 PM UTC

No. 24 Temple is laying nearly two touchdowns to Wake Forest in the Dec. 27 Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis. Defense will feature for both teams. Check out our free pick and score prediction here.

Temple Owls (10-3 SU, 12-1 ATS)

Ed Foley takes over as interim head coach for the game as Matt Rhule departed to Baylor effective immediately to tackle the controversial role at Waco. Foley has been in the Owls’ system for nine years, serving as an assistant head coach and also leading tight ends and special teams this season. Don’t expect too much change in play-calling and game design for this matchup. Foley’s long-time presence should prevent any distraction from Rhule leaving.

Temple has covered 11 straight spreads on college football odds since losing the opener 28-13 to Army as 15-point chalk. Its college football’s most ATS wins in a row in a single season in at least the last 40 years. A straight-up victory over Wake will give the Owls a school-record 11 wins overall.

Temple’s defense is darn right nasty. It gave up a total of 20 points in its final four games. Most recently, it stuffed the high-octane option attack of Navy 34-10 in the AAC Championship Game. Overall, the unit had held teams below their projected team total in seven straight contests. Temple's 4.6 yards per play allowed against FBS foes ranks sixth nationally.

The Owls are just 1-13 SU against ACC programs. Most of those contests occurred in their non-competitive years (1990s). The average line against the conference is +20.8.

Temple has been to three postseason games in the 2000s, losing last year as the No. 24 team in the nation 32-17 vs. Toledo in the Boca Raton Bowl. The Owls went off 2-point favorites for that one.


Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS)

Wake’s offense struggles to produce. Its 17.5 points per game ranks better than only five Power 5 schools nationally: Rutgers, Illinois, Boston College, South Carolina and Kansas. Big plays are lacking and sustaining long drives against the Owls will be a challenge. The unit’s 4.2 yards per play is 125th out of 128 FBS programs.

The defense will keep the game competitive. Wake’s unit allowed 21.8 points per game in an ACC with some potent offenses. It squared off against eight teams scoring 30 points or more per game. The Deacons allowed 0.292 points per play, 16th most efficient in the country. The defense also excels in the pass rush. It sacked opposing quarterbacks on 9.3 percent of dropbacks (eighth).                       

The Demon Deacons are 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS on college football picks in their last seven bowl games dating back to 1992. They have kicked off the underdogs in all but two. Only once has it been by double digits, losing 24-13 to Louisville in the 2007 Orange Bowl as 10-point pups.


Final Analysis

Wake scored 14 points or fewer in five of its final six games. Temple’s offense, meanwhile, rattled off 31 points or more in five of its last six. It shows up consistently, scoring greater than the opposing defense's points per game allowed in 9 of the last 11 matchups. Temple won’t run away with a victory but should win by double digits. Our prediction: 28-13 for the Owls. Lay the points with Temple.

NCAAF Free Pick: Temple -13Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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