Temple vs Tulsa Odds, Prediction: Expect Plenty of Points

Temple vs Tulsa Odds, Prediction: Expect Plenty of Points article feature image

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Temple quarterback EJ Warner.

Temple vs Tulsa Odds

Thursday, Sept. 28
7:30 p.m. ET
Temple Odds
-110o / -110u
Tulsa Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

This Thursday, we will see the Temple Owls travel to face the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. This will be the first AAC matchup of the year for both teams, and it may end up being an exciting one.

Multiple factors in this game lend themselves to the possibility of seeing fireworks on the field.

Let’s dive into my betting preview and find a pick for Temple vs. Tulsa on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Temple Owls

Coming into the season, I believed that this Owls offense would continue taking a step forward behind quarterback EJ Warner, as they were much more successful through the air with him at the helm last year.

However, that hasn't happened yet. The Owls enter this game ranked just 91st in Success Rate and have the 119-best offense, according to SP+.

Warner has at least been serviceable in the passing game, averaging 0.02 EPA per dropback this season. Temple throws the ball at the 10th-highest rate in the country, so I would expect to see a lot of him in this game against a porous Tulsa secondary.

In fact, the only way that Temple can move the ball is through the air, as it ranks 66th in Passing Success Rate and 67th in Passing PPA, but 120th in Rushing Success Rate and 107th in rushing PPA.

Defensively, Temple has looked slightly better, ranking 65th in Success Rate and 65th in explosiveness allowed. But the Owls do struggle in two areas, as they sit 105th in Defensive Finishing Drives and 126th in Havoc.

Tulsa runs the ball much more than it passes, which plays into the weakness of this Owls defense. Temple ranks 67th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 90th in Rushing PPA.

The other main weakness of this defense is its propensity to allow explosive plays through the air. The Owls rank 113th in passing explosiveness allowed.

Tulsa’s offense hasn’t been great, but it's better than both Akron and Norfolk State — the only two offenses Temple has found a way to contain this season. Even Rutgers, whose offense ranks three spots behind Tulsa in SP+, posted a Success Rate in the 88th percentile and 6.26 yards per play on this defense.

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Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Offense has been hard to come by for Tulsa this season as well. Washington and Oklahoma do skew the Golden Hurricane's numbers negatively because they're such strong opponents, but Tulsa also played poorly offensively against Northern Illinois last weekend.

Tulsa did put up a Success Rate in the 43rd percentile and scored 22 points, but it recorded an EPA per Play in just the 12th percentile and 4.46 yards per play, good for the 15th percentile. NIU’s defense ranks 102nd, so that's the unit most similar to Temple's skill level that Tulsa has seen thus far.

On a down-to-down basis, this offense has been serviceable. The Golden Hurricane rank 47th in Success Rate, coming in at 47th on the ground and 57th through the air. Their main issue has been preventing Havoc (112th) and generating explosive plays (123rd).

These issues are due in large part to injuries at the quarterback position. Braylon Braxton was the starter heading into the season but was injured early in Week 1. Since then, Cardell Williams and Roman Fuller have split time filling in for him.

Williams should be the starter if Braxton is still unable to go, but there hasn't been any update on Braxton’s status yet this week.

Last year, Braxton was PFF’s 30th-graded quarterback among players who took at least 20% of their team’s dropbacks. His 8.8% big-time throw rate was the third-highest mark in FBS, just barely off the national lead.

The Tulsa defense has been nothing to write home about. It ranks 119th in SP+ and allowed a 69th-percentile Offensive Success Rate to NIU, which has the 128th-best offense in the country, according to SP+.

Tulsa ranks 127th in Defensive Success Rate, 112th in Havoc and 96th in Finishing Drives.

The Golden Hurricane passing defense has been one of the worst in FBS this season, ranking 132nd in both Passing PPA and Success Rate Allowed.

With Temple’s affinity for thowing the ball, this secondary is likely in for another tough day.

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 Success11980
Line Yards103108
Pass Success68133
Finishing Drives107107
Quality Drives6197
Tulsa Offense vs. Temple Defense
Rush Success4470
Line Yards45102
Pass Success5789
Finishing Drives71104
Quality Drives94100
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling31127
PFF Coverage59133
Special Teams SP+12133
Middle 89690
Seconds per Play24.8 (33)25.0 (36)
Rush Rate40.4% (124)64.9% (12)

Temple vs Tulsa

Betting Pick & Prediction

I don’t trust either defense in this matchup,  as both have been gashed all season long. The strengths of both offenses also match up with the opposition's weakness, making this a perfect storm.

Temple ranks 21st in seconds per play, while Tulsa has been fast in its own right at 44th.

These two teams both boast relatively fast-paced offenses and have their own unique strengths that line up well here. Braxton’s return for Tulsa would just be the cherry on top, but even without him, I still like this game to go over its current total of 55.5 points.

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