UMass vs. Temple Odds, Picks: Bet EJ Warner & Owls as Favorites

UMass vs. Temple Odds, Picks: Bet EJ Warner & Owls as Favorites article feature image

Pictured: E.J. Warner. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

  • The UMass Minutemen head west to take on the Temple Owls in mid-afternoon college football action.
  • With EJ Warner — son of Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Kurt Warner — starting at quarterback for the Owls, they enter as double-digit favorites.
  • Check out Anthony Dabbundo's full betting guide and pick for UMass vs. Temple below.

UMass vs. Temple Odds

Saturday, Sept 24
2 p.m. ET
UMass Odds
-110o / -110u
Temple Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Temple earned its first cover against an FBS opponent since last October in a 16-14 home loss to Rutgers last Saturday.

After a blowout 30-0 loss to Duke to begin the Stan Drayton era in Philadelphia, the Owls now have their best chance to collect an FBS win when UMass visits Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.

UMass has heavily embraced the run game to begin the 2022 season and has just 170 total passing yards through three games. Don Brown returned to the program this season and although UMass has a clear offensive identity, that hasn't translated to successful offensive performances.

The run-heavy approach will have trouble on Saturday against Temple's improved defensive front.

Massachusetts Minutemen

UMass' ability to run the ball successfully and play at a snail's pace actually makes it an encouraging underdog.

With that being said, the Minutemen are a long way away from being competitive, as their passing offense couldn't produce more than 105 yards against Stony Brook.

The Owls grade out really well along the defensive line and rank 32nd in Defensive Line Yards. That means it's going to be quite difficult for UMass to get enough push up front to sustain the offense.

The Minutemen ran the ball 58 times in Week 1 against Tulane and amassed 200 yards, but that's just a very difficult way to be an efficient offense in modern college football.

The result was 10 total points, all in the second quarter. The Minutemen failed to score in the second half and Tulane pulled away rather easily.

UMass' secondary grades out poorly both in terms of tackling and coverage. Given their improvement at quarterback, the Owls should be able to expose the Minutemen on the back end.  Temple hasn't had much success running, but this is a big step down in competition for the Owls on Saturday.

Temple Owls

It only took the Owls two weeks to make a change at quarterback, as E.J. Warner made his first collegiate start and nearly led the Owls to the win.

Despite Drayton's past as a running backs coach at Texas, the Owls have not been particularly run heavy this season.

Warner looked like an immediate upgrade for the passing attack over previous quarterback D'Wan Mathis. Mathis had four yards per attempt in Week 1 against Duke and was just 3-for-8 passing against FCS Lafayette when Drayton benched him in favor of Warner.

Warner has thrown for 7.8 yards per attempt and completed 66% of his passes. The market hasn't really upgraded Temple, but given his solid PFF grades — a 70.1 average through two games — he should be viewed as a clear upgrade over Mathis, who is now practicing with the wide receivers.

The most encouraging trends for the Owls' defense come in the PFF grades. PFF ranks the Owls 27th in tackling — a major key against a run-heavy team — and 43rd in coverage.

The coverage grades won't matter as much in this matchup, but it is a positive indicator of coaching improvements that will prevent miscues in the secondary.

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UMass vs. Temple Matchup Analysis

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

UMass Offense vs. Temple Defense
Rush Success10845
Line Yards8932
Pass Success10560
Pass Blocking**52106
Finishing Drives12440
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Temple Offense vs. UMass Defense
Rush Success11487
Line Yards121103
Pass Success10022
Pass Blocking**115113
Finishing Drives11856
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling9327
PFF Coverage9343
SP+ Special Teams102129
Seconds per Play30.1 (119)26.1 (63)
Rush Rate76.7% (4)52.9% (70)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

UMass vs. Temple Betting Pick

The market has come down in this game from Temple -9.5 early in the week to -8.5, but I disagree with the market movement.

The Owls are trending in a decent direction under Drayton and won the box score against Rutgers a week ago.

Temple has the defensive line to completely shut down the UMass rushing attack and the improvement at quarterback gives the Owls a viable offense that didn't previously exist.

The program has been a disaster for the better part of a full calendar year. It lost seven straight games by 20 or more points to end last season, and Duke throttled Temple in Week 1.

However, the Owls still have a clear talent edge here and can stop the one thing UMass wants to do offensively.

I'd lay the 8.5 points, and I would play it at 9.5 or better.

Pick: Temple -8.5 (Play to -9.5)

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