The Temple Owls (1-2) host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-2) on Thursday to kick off Week 4 of the 2018 college football season. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 4 college football odds, the books opened with Temple as a 7-point home favorite. That line has shifted slightly after early betting, as the Owls are currently listed at -6.5. The total for the game is sitting at 59 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Temple vs Tulsa
The Golden Hurricane will attempt to get back to .500 on the season this Thursday after losing to Arkansas State last Saturday. Tulsa has now lost two games in a row after cruising to a season-opening victory over Central Arkansas. Arkansas State was up by 20 points in the 3rd quarter before Tulsa made a game of it and eventually lost 29-20. Turnovers plagued them against the Red Wolves, including an interception that was returned for a touchdown that was likely the biggest reason the Golden Hurricane suffered a second consecutive loss. QB Luke Skipper has been inconsistent through three games, completing just 61.3% of his passes for 521 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. RB Shamari Brooks has led the way on the ground for Tulsa, racking up 310 yards and four touchdowns. As a whole, the offence is currently ranked 94th overall in the country and is scoring an average of 26.3 points per game.
Tulsa has also looked fairly sub-par on the other side of the ball through their first three games. The Golden Hurricanes are currently giving up an average of 28 points and 376.7 total yards to opposing offenses per game. This leaves them currently tied for 86th overall defensively.
Temple enters this game in search of their first home victory of the 2018-19 NCAAF season. After losing consecutive games on home turf to start the year, the Owls looked great on the road last weekend in a shocking 35-14 triumph over Maryland. Temple will now look to get back to .500 on Thursday against Tulsa in an all-important conference match-up. QB’s Anthony Russo and Frank Nutile have combined for five touchdown passes through their first three games, but have also thrown a total of five interceptions. Both will have to play better moving forward if Temple hopes to keep their momentum from impressive Week 3 victory alive.
The Owls are currently ranked 89th overall offensively, as they are averaging 27 points per game on just over 300 total yards. Their defense has looked significantly better, as Temple is currently tied for 58th nationwide after allowing 23 points per game on an average of 342.3 total yard per game.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Temple -7
This is a spot where I think Temple is able to find a way to successfully keep the ball rolling at home after a statement road victory last weekend. Both of these offenses have struggled, but Tulsa has been brutal defensively while the Owls have at least looked somewhat average. They held a high flying Maryland offense to just 63 passing yards all game and now get to face a run-heavy Tulsa attack that leaves them looking one dimensional. I think this makes Temple a pretty good value play on Thursday.
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Yes, the Owls have struggled at home but I still think home field will play a factor this week, especially since the road team is being forced to play on short rest this week. It is also important to remember that Tulsa would likely be 0-3 on the year so far if they weren’t handed a cupcake match-up against Central Arkansas in Week 1. The Golden Hurricane have also given up almost 30 points in every game so far this season, while Temple has held their opponents under 20 points in two out of their three games played.
Tulsa is also 6-1 ATS over their past Thursday games and an impressive 8-2 ATS in their last ten games against teams with a losing record. On the other hand, Temple is just 1-4 ATS over their past five September games and haven’t won on the road since November 2016.
The Owls should have confidence to spare heading into this AAC clash. I can’t look past the fact that Maryland had been scoring at will through the first two weeks of the season before failing to break 200 total yards on offense while playing at home against Temple last Saturday. A lot of people are making a big deal out of Tulsa keeping pace with Texas and only losing by a touchdown a few weeks ago, but Maryland beat Texas 34-29 straight up back in Week 1 – and then lost outright to the Owls. Both teams have looked average at best on offence, so I think that this one will boil down to which team plays better defensively – which definitely makes me lean towards Temple. I’ll lay the points and take the Owls to get back to .500 on Thursday.