Temple Owls (0-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 3:30 pm (Notre Dame Stadium)
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -15 -- Over/Under: 54 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish face a stiff challenge to open the 2017 college football season in the Temple Owls.
The Temple Owls enjoyed a stellar 10-4 campaign in 2016 behind a decent offense that rode on the shoulders of one of the stingiest defenses in college football. The Owls scored 32 points on 414 yards with average running and passing numbers but this unit took advantage of great field position thanks to the #3 defense. Temple allowed 18 points on a mere 283 yards with a top three passing ‘D’ allowing only 152 yards. Temple will go with 2016 back up Logan Marchi under center but this isn’t etched in stone. The Owls receiving corps returns a trio of quality targets in Keith Kirkwood, Adonis Jennings and Ventell Bryant while an explosive Ryquell Armstead leads a ground game that should produce with solid experience along the line.
Seeing Notre Dame finish 4-8 in 2016 was a bit shocking as fans simply aren’t able to associate this program with losing. The numbers say it should have been a better year with 31 points on 418 yards with top 50 passing leading the way. The Fighting Irish allowed 28 points on 379 yards which was #42 in terms of yards given up but raw numbers don’t necessarily mean winning or losing. Notre Dame turns to relatively unproven Brandon Wimbush and if he lives up to the hype the offense has plenty of weapons around him. The Irish get back top receiving option Equanimeous St. Brown along with Kevin Stepherson and Chase Claypool. The rushing attack will produce with dependable Josh Adams doing damage behind a veteran offensive line that returns four of five.
The under is 6-0 in Temple Owls last 6 versus an Independent and Temple Owls are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games while Temple Owls are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games on fieldturf. Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and the under is 4-1 in Notre Dame Fighting Irish last 5 versus AAC while Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 versus AAC.
A two touchdown spread would have been an automatic bet on Temple a season ago but the Owls have lost a lot and Notre Dame has plenty of horses so I’ll back the Irish at home…