College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Temple vs. Tulsa: Ride the Under in AAC Affair

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Temple vs. Tulsa: Ride the Under in AAC Affair article feature image

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  • Temple looks to snap its five-game losing streak when it travels to take on Tulsa.
  • The Golden Hurricane lost to Navy three weeks ago but nearly upset Cincinnati and then beat Tulane by seven.
  • Anthony Dabbundo dives into this clash and offers up his top selection.

Temple vs. Tulsa Odds

Saturday, Nov. 20
4 p.m. ET
Temple Odds
-110o / -110u
Tulsa Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Tulsa avoided a disastrous collapse against Tulane last week after the Green Wave missed a 26-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. Tulsa then went on to win in overtime.

The Golden Hurricane saved their chance at bowl eligibility with that win and now need to win their remaining two games to finish the regular season at 6-6.

The next hurdle for Tulsa to clear is a home game with Temple, which is faltering as much as any program in all of FBS football. Since starting 3-2, the Owls have lost their last five games by 49, 20, 42, 42 and 29.

There's a growing disdain around the program for head coach Rod Carey, given how poorly this season has gone and how much the program has fallen under his leadership. The offense and special teams have proved incapable of producing consistent points for more than a month now.

Temple Owls

Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer summed up the Owls' program well in a recent article.

"The question right now surrounding Temple’s cavernous football troubles is a financial one. It’s impossible to think a new university president and new athletic director, both with big-time football in their backgrounds, can look at the current state of the Owls and say, “Yeah, it’s all heading in the right direction, this is so perfect.”

The Owls have been an unmitigated disaster most of the season, save for a surprise upset home win against Memphis. The program's only wins this year have come against FCS Wagner, lowly Akron and Memphis.

All seven losses have come by at least 20 points and all seven losses have featured Temple scoring 14 points or fewer.

Temple wants to be a pass-first offense — some of that has come out of necessity because its been trailing so much this season. But with quarterback D'Wan Mathis out and Justin Lynch in, the Owls haven't been able to move the ball through the air at all.

The Owls are 123th in Passing Success Rate and one reason Mathis has battled injuries all year is that the Owls don't protect the quarterback.

They rank 111th in pass blocking, have no explosive ability on the outside and typically have to grind out drives to get down the field. Lynch has made some plays through improvisation with his legs, but the red-zone offense has been among the worst in the country too.

That was on display against both ECU and Boston College, when missed field goals, failed fourth downs and turnovers killed the Owls' offense.

Temple is fifth-worst in the entire country at turning yards and drives into points because it cannot run the ball and has had major issues kicking field goals all season.

Against a Tulsa defense that has statistical edges across the board and tackles very well, according to PFF, it's very hard to see how the Owls surpass 14 points.

Garbage time is always a concern and it's where TU has made most of its noise on offense, but if Tulsa's offense hasn't put the game away, there's less risk of backdoor touchdowns from the Owls' offense.

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Tulsa Golden Hurricane

The No. 1 issue for Tulsa this season — and the reason the Golden Hurricane are still chasing bowl eligibility — has been playing down to competition. Losses to UC Davis and Navy stand out as bad defeats on the Tulsa resume. This team nearly upset both Oklahoma State and Cincinnati this season.

If the Golden Hurricane had won either of those bad losses or pulled off an upset, they'd clinch bowl eligibility with an easy win on Saturday. Tulsa has a road trip to SMU next week and could be caught overlooking the terrible Owls here.

Tulsa's offense also hasn't been consistently good enough to get a margin against worse teams. The Golden Hurricane rank outside the top 100 in both Rushing Success Rate and Passing Success Rate.

The Golden Hurricane shouldn't be able to run all over Temple in this game, and the Owls' defensive front actually played pretty well against the Houston run attack last week in Philadelphia.

Another major issue for Tulsa to get margin is its ability to score touchdowns in the red zone. The Golden Hurricane are among the worst in the country at finishing drives — similar to Temple — so that sets up for a lot of field goals.

Temple vs. Tulsa Matchup Analysis

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

Temple Offense vs. Tulsa Defense
Rush Success8959
Line Yards9439
Pass Success12350
Pass Blocking**11130
Big Play9869
Finishing Drives12681
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Tulsa Offense vs. Temple Defense
Rush Success114109
Line Yards10889
Pass Success10469
Pass Blocking**4676
Big Play4962
Finishing Drives120125
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling11816
Middle 811621
SP+ Special Teams12245
Plays per Minute8441
Rush Rate49.3% (101)56.4% (57)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Temple vs. Tulsa Betting Pick

The spread on Temple here sure does appear to be inflated, given how bad the Owls have been of late. Tulsa hasn't won a game by more than seven all season and now is laying more than three touchdowns against another FBS team in a conference game.

With that being said, all of the rumors and turmoil surrounding the Temple program make it very difficult to back them to cover a spread. When the Owls have lost this season, it's looked very ugly and there's no reason to expect different on Saturday in Oklahoma.

Given that both defenses have Success Rate edges against the opposing offenses, both offenses have failed miserably at finishing drives and Tulsa has failed to separate from inferior opponents all season long, under is the look here.

Temple hasn't posted more than 14 points since Oct. 2 and a road game against a solid Tulsa defense with a backup quarterback who's proven to be inefficient isn't the time for the Owls to start scoring.

I wouldn't play this below 51 because it's such a key number in college football, but anything 51 or better and I like the under.

Pick: Under 51

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