By Ryan Mayer
The college football bowl season is upon us. With 40 games spread out over the next two weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline/Bookmaker.eu. Find all our picks here.
All lines listed are as of publishing date. As always lines may change in the lead up to games so be sure to check.
#24 Temple vs. Wake Forest
Spread: Temple -13
Spread: In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a Temple fan. I grew up in Philadelphia, both parents went to Temple Law School and have been following the team for years. That said, I’m also more of a pessimist than an optimist when it comes to the team. The biggest thing that scares me for the Owls here is operating under an interim head coach after Matt Rhule was hired to take over at Baylor. Teams playing under an interim head coach are always a bit of an enigma. When you look at the stats, they favor the Owls pretty heavily. The Owls are one of the nation’s best defenses ranking 8th in points allowed (17.2), 26th in rush defense (130.8 YPG), 2nd in pass defense (145.2 YPG), and 19th in sacks averaging 2.85 per game. Wake Forest’s offense has been anemic ranking 121st in scoring (19.3 PPG), 100th in rushing (147.5 YPG on 3.61 YPC), and 115th in passing (159.3 YPG). All that said, Temple’s offense has been inconsistent this season and Wake Forest’s defense has been no slouch.
The biggest key here is Temple QB Phillip Walker. The senior has come on late in the season after struggling out of the gates and if he continues his strong play, the Owls should run away with it. But, if he struggles and throws a couple of interceptions, which he has been prone to doing, then the Deacons could keep this close. In the end, I think the Temple defense will hold Wake Forest in check while the Owls will be able to score enough to cover. Also, Temple is a ludicrous 12-1 ATS this season. They’ve been making y’all money all year. Temple -13
Total: The 40.5 points being given as the total here entirely depends on the strength of these two defenses. But, because of the spread, it’s tough to see how Temple would win by essentially two touchdowns and also keep the game under 40 points unless you’re expecting Wake Forest to not be able to score at all. Here’s a reason why that could happen. The Deacs will be playing with either an injured John Wolford at QB (separated shoulder) or a 3rd-string QB in red-shirt freshman Kyle Kearns. I think this hits the under, something like Temple 24, Wake Forest 10. Under 41
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.