The Temple Owls (4-3) host the streaking #20 Cincinnati Bearcats (6-0) on Saturday afternoon in an AAC matchup. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field and the game will be available on ESPNU.
Taking a look at the Week 8 college football odds, Temple opened as a 3.5-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has basically stayed the same after early betting, as the Owls are currently listed at -4. The total for the game is sitting at 47.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Temple vs Cincinnati
Cincinnati stayed undefeated their last time out, beating Tulane 37-21 back in Week 6 to improve to 6-0 on the season. The Bearcats have been on a roll offensively as of late, scoring almost 200 points total in their last four games combined. Freshman QB Desmond Ridder has been fantastic, passing for 1,062 yards and ten touchdowns in just six games. He has also been highly accurate, completing 65.6% of his passes while throwing just two interceptions. Ridder has received a ton of help from the dynamic receiving duo of Kahlil Lewis and Josiah Deguara, who have combined for 529 yards and six touchdowns. Cincinnati has also had a ton of success running the ball so far this year, as they are currently averaging 255.5 rushing yards a game. RB Michael Warren II has been the main workhorse out of the backfield, already racking up 664 yards and 11 touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, the Bearcats have been rock solid defensively – opponents are currently averaging just 13.7 points per game (3rd overall) on 270.3 total yards. They have really been dominant defending against the pass, giving up just 154.3 yards per game through the air (7th).
Temple managed to sneak past Navy last weekend, scoring 17 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to beat the Mids 24-17 and improve to 4-3 on the season. The Owls had trouble getting anything going offensively for the first three quarters before erupting down the stretch. QB Anthony Russo connected with WR Ventell Bryant for a thrilling 62 yard touchdown to put Temple ahead by seven with just minutes to go in the game. Bryant had a huge game for the Owls, racking up eight catches for 147 yards – including the winning touchdown. He has been amazingly consistent over the past several seasons, recording at least one reception for 42 straight games. Russo has really appeared to turn things around as of late after an awful start to the year where he threw just one touchdown and got picked off five times in four games. Temple has looked very impressive running the football over the last several weeks, as they are currently averaging 141.4 yards per game on the ground. RB Ryquell Armstead has really had a breakout season, rushing for 626 yards and six touchdowns in seven games.
Things have looked pretty good on the other side of the ball for the Owls, as they are currently giving up 22.0 points per game on 333.0 total yards.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Cincinnati +4
I think the Bearcats offer a ton of value in this particular spot – I can only recall a handful of times that I didn’t take advantage of getting free points by siding with an undefeated team that was also ranked and was playing an unranked opponent. I know that the Owls usually are quite tough to beat at home, but Cincinnati has yet to loose a game this year and Ridder has been on fire. Temple still has a ton of question marks at quarterback, as Russo has looked terrible in at least four of his seven starts this season.
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It is also important to note that the road team is 7-1 ATS over the last eight games between these two teams, which bodes quite well for Cincinnati. The Bearcats are also 4-1 ATS in their last five road games, and 5-1 ATS over their last six games overall. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win.
Cincinnati has been dominant on both sides of the ball all season long and I’m expecting that trend to continue yet again this week. The free points are always nice, especially in case this game is decided by a field goal. However, I really think that the Bearcats will win this one outright and stay undefeated. They have had an extra week of rest to get ready for this matchup and have won by 9+ points in five out of their six games so far this year. I still think they have been the most consistent team in the AAC this season – I’m taking the points all day here.