After winning just two games in 2015, the renamed Army West Point Black Knights will looking to kick off their 2016 campaign with a huge upset against a surprising Temple Owls that won 10 games a year ago and is now clearly headed in the right direction.
Now, let’s find out if the Black Knights can cover the college football betting line as a huge road dog in their 2016 opener.
Black Knights vs Owls Volunteers 2016 Week 1 Winning Predictions
When: Friday, September 2, 2016
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Time: 7:00 PM ET
NCAAF Odds: Temple -17
Why Bet the Army West Point Black Knights at +17
As much as I tried, there really is no good reason to back the Army West Point Black Knights unless you like the two-touchdowns-plus they’re getting against the Owls. Army West Point (2-10 SU, 5-7 ATS) may have altered its name a year ago, but the Black Knights were a complete mess in head coach Jeff Monken’s second season.
Army used three quarterbacks a year ago, none of whom were very impressive while also employing five young running backs that all ran for at least 200 yards on the season. The bad news is that Monken will need to shore up an offensive line that graduated three seniors and saw another leave the team for personal reasons. Army’s leading receiver, Edgar Poe, is back, but he caught a paltry 16 passes a year ago, so clearly the passing attack needs to be fixed.
Defensively, the Black Knights ranked an impressive 48th overall, but just 75th in points allowed (27.8 ppg). Still, Army looks like they’ll be solid again behind standout linebackers Andrew King and Jeremy Timph and a secondary that is as athletic as any in the country.
Why Bet the Temple Owls at -17
The Owls are a good bet because they’re superior to the Black Knights in all three phases of the game! Temple (10-4 SU, 9-5 ATS) averaged a respectable 29.7 points per game in 2015 (60th) while allowing just 20.0 points per game defensively to finish a stellar 17th nationally.
The Owls have seen returning starters on offense, including quarterback P.J. Walker and gifted running back Jahad Thomas, a player that rushed for 1,262 yards and 17 touchdowns a year ago. Temple has an experienced offensive line led by gifted tackle Dion Dawkins although the wide receiver unit returns just one of its top six receivers from last season.
Defensively, Temple also returns seven starters from last season’s squad although they have to replace do-it-all linebacker Tyler Matakevich. The good news is that the Owls have a trio of linebackers that have all started games in the past, not to mention they look slid on the d-line and in the secondary, although they are inexperienced at safety.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
With the Owls playing their regular season opener at home against an offensively-challenged team like Army, I don’t think covering the spread will be very difficult. Despite going 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games, Army is also an uninspiring 1-6 ATS in its last seven games overall and a winless 0-5 ATS in its last five games against the Owls.
Conversely, Temple is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games and a bankroll-boosting 5-1 ATS in its last six home games. The Owls have too much talent for Army to keep up with and a head coach that has a hot name in college football right now in Vern Rhule. Temple wins going away to cover the college football betting line as a 17-point home fave!