Temple vs. Memphis Betting Odds, Picks: Don’t Expect Much Offense

Temple vs. Memphis Betting Odds, Picks: Don’t Expect Much Offense article feature image

Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Image. Pictured: Muheem McCargo & Jalen McMurray (Temple)

  • The Temple Owls travel to Tennessee on Saturday to take on the Memphis Tigers in college football action.
  • The Tigers enter as 18.5-point favorites with an over/under of 50.5, according to updated odds.
  • Check out Cody Goggin's full betting guide for Temple vs. Memphis below.

Temple vs. Memphis Odds

Saturday, Oct. 1
12 p.m. ET
Temple Odds
-110o / -110u
Memphis Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

In a clash of styles between a high-powered passing attack team that doesn’t play much defense and a defensive-minded group that has one of the worst offenses in college football, Memphis will take on Temple this weekend.

It will be interesting to see how these two styles mesh, but at the end of the day, there are multiple avenues for this game to wind up being lower-scoring than the markets believe.

Temple Owls

Owls Offense

Temple’s offense has been a problem this year, and not in a good way. This offense ranks 127th by SP+ and is 98th in Offensive Success Rate.

This poor Success Rate is in spite of the fact that the three FBS defenses the Owls have played rank 32nd, 96th and 124th in SP+. Rutgers has the best defense that they have faced so far, and they managed just a 30th-percentile Success Rate on offense and scored 14 points vs. the Scarlet Knights. 

The good news for Temple is that Memphis’ defense is its worst unit. The Tigers’ defense is in the same range of SP+ that Duke’s defense is, and Duke allowed a 19th-percentile Success Rate to Temple while shutting the Owls out of the score column.

Memphis’ defense has been poor this year, but this Temple offense will still not be able to overcome this. 

Owls Defense

Temple has one of the better defenses in the AAC. The unit ranks 65th in SP+, but has the 35th-best Defensive Success Rate this season.

The Owls are especially good against the pass, as they have the 31st-best Success Rate.

Cornerback Jalen McMurray has been a stud this year for the Owls at cornerback, as he owns the 26th-highest grade among 910 qualifying cornerbacks this season, according to PFF.

This Owls’ defense has been impressive, allowing just 15 points per game. However, the offenses that Temple has played so far have not been challenging in the slightest.

Rutgers and UMass both have offenses ranked outside of the top 100 in SP+, but Temple still held them to 32nd- and ninth-percentile Offensive Success Rates.

Duke’s offense is the best that Temple has faced this season — ranking 68th in SP+ — and the Blue Devils had a 95th-percentile Offensive Success Rate en route to a 30-0 victory.

Temple may be able to slow Memphis down a bit on offense, but I don’t think that it will be able to completely stall the Tigers.

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Memphis Tigers

Tigers Offense

Memphis comes into this week at 3-1 on the backs of its high-powered passing attack.

The Tigers’ offense is ranked 38th in the country by SP+ and is 52nd in Offensive Success Rate this season, with the 28th-best Passing Success Rate.

Quarterback Seth Henigan is off to a solid start, posting a 80.8 PFF passing grade so far this season.

Last weekend, the Tigers narrowly avoided defeat against North Texas in a game that they were 12.5-point favorites in. The final score showed a 10-point victory, but by Bill Connelly’s expected score, Memphis was only 0.7 points better than North Texas and very easily could have lost that game.

Adjusted for the opponent, this was the Tigers' worst offensive showing of the season, as they only had a 45th-percentile Success Rate against a Mississippi State defense that is ranked 21st by SP+. 

In their other two games against Navy and Arkansas State, Memphis’ offense was dominant, posting 79th-percentile and 94th-percentile Offensive Success Rates.

The issue is that Temple’s defense will be the second-best unit that Memphis has faced this season, so the Tigers will not be able to win through the air quite as much.

This will likely impact Memphis’ scoring potential in this one.

Tigers Defense

Defense has been the weak point for Memphis this season. The Tigers rank 100th in Defensive Success Rate and have been terrible against the pass, ranking 116th in Success Rate when facing the pass.

Temple’s offense has been better this season when passing than rushing, which could potentially cause some issues for Memphis.

The most comparable game to this one for Memphis’ defense would be its outing against Navy.

In that game, the Navy offense that is ranked 123rd in SP+ had just a 11th-percentile Offensive Success Rate, and the Midshipmen only scored 13 points.

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Temple vs. Memphis Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Temple and Memphis match up statistically:

Temple Offense vs. Memphis Defense
Rush Success11574
Line Yards12068
Pass Success92112
Pass Blocking**9451
Finishing Drives121106
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Memphis Offense vs. Temple Defense
Rush Success6334
Line Yards6751
Pass Success1620
Pass Blocking**91108
Finishing Drives4914
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling2831
PFF Coverage1196
SP+ Special Teams11818
Seconds per Play26.4 (68)24.8 (30)
Rush Rate54.1% (61)53.8% (65)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Temple vs. Memphis Betting Pick

Memphis games are 4-0 to the over this year, and it has hit its team total over in every game so far.

But Temple goes the other way, as its games are 3-1 to the under.

These two teams have clashing styles that makes this an intriguing handicap.

My favorite way to play this game would be on the under because I think that there are a few different scenarios where it could hit.

If Temple is able to keep this game close, chances are that it’s because the Owls were able to slow down the Tigers' offense and turn this into a low-scoring rock fight.

The chances of Temple’s offense exploding are likely low, despite Memphis’ defensive struggles.

On the other side, if Memphis is able to score then this could be a blowout and result in a game script that sees the Tigers just running down the clock while Temple is unable to score — similar to the game that the Owls played against Duke earlier this season.

For a game that includes one of the worst offenses in the FBS, a total of 50.5 is too high. This was as high as 52.5 mid-week, but has already been moved down.

I wouldn’t want to chase this, so 49.5 would be the lowest that I would play this to.

Pick: Under 50.5 (Play to 49.5)

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