Temple @ Houston Inaugural AAC Title Game Odds Preview

Posted by Daniel Strum on Thursday,December 3, 2015 7:53, EST in

The 21st-ranked Temple Owls will look to pull off the NCAA Football lines upset over the 18th-ranked Houston Cougars when the two Bowl Game Six hopefuls square off at TDECU Stadium in the inaugural American Athletic Conference championship game. Now, let’s find out which one of these teams will bring home the bacon!

How To Bet the Owls @ Cougars NCAA Football Odds, TV & Game Info

When: Saturday, December 5, 12:00 PM ET
Where: TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas
TV: ABC
Stream Option: ABCSports
NCAAF Odds: Houston -7
Over/Under: 57

Why Bet on the Temple Owls (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS)

Temple clinched the AAC East division title by taking out Connecticut 27-3 on Saturday night to cash in as a 12-point home favorite as running back Jahad Thomas rushed 119 yards and to scores on 20 carries. Quarterback P.J. Walker completed 19 of 29 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown and the Owls’ defense limited the Huskies to a mind-boggling nine rushing yards and just 129 passing yards. The win marked just the second time the Owls have reached double digits in wins. The Huskies’ only points came on a field goal with just under six minutes left in the game.

Temple is ranked 51st in scoring (32.2 ppg) and a stellar 16th in point allowed (18.8 ppg). Jahad Thomas has 17 rushing touchdowns this season and is averaging 99.0 rushing yards per game. Temple has forced 22 turnovers and is plus-six in the turnover department.

Why Bet on the Houston Cougars (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS)

Houston captured the AAC West division by rolling all over Navy 52-31 on Friday to easily cover the spread as a 1-point home underdog after losing their only game of the season against UConn one week. Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. completed 26 of 35 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns while adding 83 rushing yards and another score on 19 carries to lead the Cougars to victory. The Cougars limited the Midshipmen to just 4-for-11 success on third downs and held their powerful rushing attack to jus 147 yards.

Ward Jr. has thrown 16 touchdown passes this season and just five interceptions while adding a whopping 17 rushing scores. The Cougars are ranked a stupendous eighth in scoring (42.0 ppg) and equally impressive 22nd in points allowed (21.1 ppg).

My Expert Game Analysis, Pick & Prediction:

Just 37 percent of the betting public likes Temple to cover the spread as virtual touchdown road dogs, but I’m among that group, mostly because I believe the Owls’ underrated defense will find a way to keep the final score closer than the odds makers believe.

The Owls are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning record, an identical 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall and an encouraging 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games. The Cougars are 5-0 ATS in their last five games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game, but just 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games in the month of December.

I like the Owls to cover the spread after giving up just 15 total points over their last two games.

My Pick: Houston 28 Temple 24