While this game isn't a Best Bet but it is a Strong Opinion and my Strong Opinion are a very profitable 328-260-4 (56%) since 2003, so it is a good bet.
Tuesday, November 16
TEMPLE (-7 ½) 32 Ohio 19
Temple's offense has improved significantly with the insertion of big play quarterback Mike Gerardi against in week 7. Gerardi has completed 67% of his passes with plenty of big plays and he's averaged 9.9 yards on his 85 pass plays (against teams that would combine to allow 7.3 yppp to an average quarterback). That's a huge improvement over former starter Chester Stewart, who completed just 53% of his passes and was 1.4 yppp worse than an average quarterback. Temple's offense should have no trouble moving the ball against a bad Ohio defense that's given up 5.4 yppl in 7 games since losing top defensive player LB Noah Keller. Giving up 5.4 yppl doesn't sound back until you consider that the Bobcats have faced a collection of mostly horrible offensive teams that would combine to average only 4.2 yppl against an average defensive team.
Ohio's offense has picked up the pace with the defense not being as good, as the Bobcats have scored 30 points or more in 6 consecutive games. Starting quarterback Boo Jackson is out for this game, but I actually think the Bobcats' attack will be better with running quarterback Phil Bates at the helm. Bates isn't very accurate as a passer, but he is an exciting runner that has averaged 7.3 yards per run on 58 carries so far this season while being used as a wildcat quarterback. With Temple so concerned about the run Bates may also be able to hit on a couple of big pass plays, so I don't think there will be any downgrade in Ohio's yards per pass numbers even with Bates being less accurate. Temple defends the run well, allowing just 4.1 yards per rushing play (to teams that would average 4.6 yprp against an average team), but my math still forecasts Ohio with 237 rushing yards at 5.0 yprp and 327 total yards at 5.3 yards per play. Those are decent numbers, but probably won't be good enough to keep up with what their defense gives up to an improved Temple attack. My math model gives Temple a solid 55% chance of covering and the Owls apply to a 44-10-2 ATS last home game situation and a 178-87-2 ATS late season angle. I'll consider Temple a Strong Opinion at -9 ½ points or less and I'd take Temple in a 2-Star Best Bet at -7 points or less.
I will have free analysis on most College and NFL games this weekend (posted at 3 pm Pacific on Thursday) in the Free Analysis section of my website.