Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Temple Owls Free Pick 10/11/13
Temple Owls (0-5) at Cincinnati Bearcats (3-2)
NCAAF Football: Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm (Nippert Stadium)
The Line: Cincinnati Bearcats -20.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The struggling Temple Owls continue to search for their first win of the season as they head north to face the Cincinnati Bearcats Friday night at 8:30 on ESPN.
Temple fell to 0-5 this past weekend after being dominated by Louisville 30-7. The Owls were outmatched on both sides of the ball and it showed early as they dug themselves an insurmountable 24-0 halftime deficit. After benching struggling Connor Reilly early in this contest, the Owls offense got an instant jolt from freshman P.J Walker who finished with 182 yards passing and 33 yards rushing -- a welcomed balance that the Owls offense should likely benefit from moving forward. Outside of Walker, the Owls rushing attack was contained to just 15 yards and the entire offense managed just over 250 yards for the game. The Owls will likely insert some new packages for Walker this week, but a stout Cincinnati defense poses lots of problems for this small unit.
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati has problems of their own to deal with after laying an egg on the road against a South Florida team that had failed to win a game leading up to their contest. The Bearcats looked lethargic all game and were never in this one as the Bulls built a 26-6 lead an never looked back. Brandon Kay had some success leading the offense late in the game but the initial damage was too much to overcome. Kay finished with 240 yards, 3 TDs and 2 picks for the contest. The Bearcats held the Bulls to under 300 yards of offense but were undone all night by turnovers -- 4 in total and 2 that led to scores for the Bulls.
Some trends to consider -- Temple is 6-2 against the spread in their last 8 Friday games and Cinnci is 8-3 against the spread in their last 11 versus teams with a losing record.
Prior to the Bearcats dreadful showing this past weekend, this pick would be a lock for Cinnci to cover but there are clearly issues looming on offense for the Bearcats. Fortunately, a home visit from Temple will be an easy win, but I expect the Temple offense to perform better with Walker at the helm and I like the Owls to hang around in this one for 3 quarters to grab the cover and a respectable defeat on the road.