Temple vs. Duke Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Friday’s Over/Under
Cody Glenn/Getty Images. Pictured: Temple quarterback D’Wan Mathis.
- The Temple Owls face the Duke Blue Devils in Friday night college football action.
- Both teams enter the season with new head coaches — Stan Drayton at Temple and Mike Elko at Duke.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down Temple vs. Duke and shares his top bet for this matchup below.
Temple vs. Duke Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Duke and Temple were two of the most disappointing teams in all of FBS football last year.
Both teams finished 3-9, as Duke head coach David Cutcliffe retired from coaching after 13 years in charge and Temple fired head coach Rod Carey after an underwhelming three seasons in Philadelphia.
The Blue Devils and Owls aren’t expected to fare particularly well in the 2022 season as both begin their rebuilds from previous eras. Both programs will see this as a very winnable game, though, with Duke as about a touchdown favorite at home.
Duke hired former Texas A&M and Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko after the Aggies had one of the best defenses in the country last season. The Owls turned to Texas run game coordinator Stan Drayton, who also served as the running backs coach and associate head coach under Steve Sarkisian in Austin.
The Blue Devils’ secondary was one of the worst in all of college football, but will Elko improve the unit enough for Week 1 to get a margin against the Owls?
Temple made clear improvements to the running game with the additions of running backs Darvon Hubbard and Jakari Norwood from Texas A&M and Illinois, respectively.
The ground game is likely to be the Owls’ focus, especially early in the season, as Drayton looks to establish the run given his background from prior jobs in the NFL and college.
The Owls return former Georgia product D’Wan Mathis at quarterback. He had entered the transfer portal and originally left the program last November but changed his mind and returned. He’s never shown much consistency as a passer. He had six big-time throws and six turnover-worthy plays last year and finished with just 6.3 yards per attempt.
Mathis completed 59% of his passes with an average depth of target of 8.6 yards. The receiving group that he has to work with is not particularly encouraging.
Temple can use Mathis’ legs as a potential weapon to add onto the run game as well, but the Owls still finished in the bottom 10 in the nation last year in Passing Success Rate. I don’t see much improvement there in the early days of Drayton’s tenure.
It’s hard to imagine Duke’s defense being any worse than it was last year.
The Blue Devils finished outside the top 100 in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and Passing Success Rate Allowed. They were bottom-10 in the entire country in preventing big plays and defending in the red zone. They couldn’t tackle or stop any competent offense.
More than 40 points and 518 yards allowed per game is a low floor for Elko to come in and fix.
The new coach hit the transfer portal and tried to get better along the defensive line, which will be a major key toward stopping the run-first Owls attack in this game. Duke also has three returners along the defensive line.
The Blue Devils do return most of their defense, but also have three new defensive starters listed on the two-deep. Two transfers — Darius Joiner and Datrone Young — join the secondary as transfers in the hopes of preventing fewer big plays this season.
Elko, unlike Cutcliffe, is a defensive-minded coach, so I wouldn’t expect the Blue Devils to play at the same fast pace offensively like they did last season.
Temple vs. Duke Betting Pick
If Temple really is going to be more of a run-first attack under Drayton, this total is likely too high.
The Owls finished last season scoring less than 15 points in each of the last seven games. Mathis has never proven himself as an FBS passer who can be consistently successful.
There are a lot of questions about how Duke will replace the production of quarterback Gunnar Holmberg. New starter Riley Leonard is completely green, and Cutcliffe isn’t there to coach him after the Blue Devils had a solid history of quarterback play under their former coach.
Teams that undergo coaching changes often take the mold of the new head coach rather quickly. For both of these teams, it leads to a slower pace, a more defensive game and fewer explosive plays.
Duke’s biggest weaknesses on defense last year — allowing explosive plays and red-zone scores — are not areas that Temple will easily be able to exploit. The Owls struggled mightily in the red zone last year and didn’t have much in terms of explosiveness, either.