Temple is the word when the Owls travel to Penn State
November 11, 2014 3:00 AM
by Doc's Sports
After posting a profitable 8-4 record in our last four weeks of top picks for GamingToday, Doc’s Sports stumbled to a 1-2 mark in this past Saturday’s selections to drop back to 17-15-1 on the year.
We did cash-in on the Texas Longhorns’ 33-16 upset of West Virginia as 4.5-point home underdogs, but we missed the mark when two favorites lost straight-up. First, Iowa got run over by Minnesota 51-14 as a 2.5-point road favorite and in the Big Ten’s biggest game of the year, Michigan State came up short against Ohio State in a 49-37 loss as a 3.5-point home favorite.
Here are this week’s selections:
Take TEMPLE (+9.5) over Penn State: The Owls have slid to 1-3 SU in their last four games, but have been able to cover against the spread as sizable underdogs in their last two games. Overall, they are 5-4 this season both SU and ATS after winning just two games in 2013. Their best chance to keep things close in this annually rivalry game is a shutdown defense that is ranked 10th in the nation in points allowed (18.1).
Penn State was able to snap a four-game losing streak with last Saturday’s 13-7 victory against Indiana, but it could not cover as a 6½-point road favorite. The Lions have now failed to cover in four of their last five games and three of those losses were as favorites. While Penn State has dominated this series over the years in terms of SU wins, the Owls have now covered ATS in three of the last four meetings.
Take AIR FORCE (-1) over Nevada: The Falcons remain in the thick of the MWC Mountain Division Title race at 3-2 and overall they are 7-2 SU on the year. They ran their record to 4-2 ATS in their last six games with a 48-21 romp over UNLV as 4.5-point road favorites. The main strength of this team has been a dominating ground game that is averaging 282.4 yards a game. The defense has also done a good job by holding teams to just 22 points per game.
Nevada comes off a bye riding a three-game winning streak both SU and ATS, but the Wolf Pack could have their hands on the road full this Saturday in this inter-division battle. Nevada is 6-3 this season both SU and ATS and while doing a good job winning the games it was supposed to, UNR is just 2-3 this season as an underdog. The other concern is a defense that has allowed an average of 29.8 points a game in its last five outings.
Take USF (-10) over SMU: The Bulls have had a rough go of it this season with just three SU wins in their first nine games, but they remain a solid bet lately with a 4-2 record ATS in their last six outings. South Florida has had its share of issues on both sides of the ball this year, but the main reason we like its chances to cover is that they are not as nearly as bad as the opponent.
It would easy to make the case that SMU is the worst team in Division IA football this season. At 0-8 SU overall and 0-4 in AAC play, the Mustangs lost every game by double digits. They did cover this past Saturday as 14-point road underdogs in a 10-point loss to Tulsa to improve to 2-6 ATS. The problems with this team really run deep with an offense that is ranked 128th in the nation in points per game (9.6) complementing a defense that is also ranked 128th in points allowed (46.8).
Last Week: 2-1 Season: 17-14-1
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