Aengus Moorehead Bowls Betting Picks: Defense will be on Display as Temple Face Toledo in Boca Raton
Monday, December 21, 2015
by Aengus Moorehead

Aengus Moorehead Bowls Betting Picks: Defense will be on Display as Temple Face Toledo in Boca Raton

Temple Owls vs. Toledo Rockets

Owls: 10-3 SU,9-4 ATS
Rockets: 9-2 SU,9-2 ATS
7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Where: FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida

The Story
The Temple Owls and Toledo Rockets will attempt to shake off tough losses in their respective conference championship games as the two teams prepare to face one another in the Boca Raton Bowl at Florida Atlantic U Stadium Tuesday.

The Rockets ended their regular season with a disappointing 35-30 loss to Western Michigan on Nov. 27 that cost them the West Division of the MAC whileTemple punched a ticket to the American Athletic Conference Championship only to fall 24-13 to Houston.

Toledo enjoyed a 7-0 start to the 2015 season – including a road win at SEC foe Arkansas – and climbed as high as No. 19 in the AP poll. However, losing two of its last four kept it from the MAC title game, and now the Rockets enter the postseason without their head coach.

Toledo’s solid season landed Matt Campbell a new head coaching gig with Iowa State. That means offensive coordinator Jason Candle is stepping into his new role as the team leader for the Boca Raton Bowl.

At 8-1, the Owls had upset Penn State and lost a nail-biter to Notre Dame. But like the Rockets, the team has split its last four games, getting routed by South Florida and dropping the league title game to Houston. Still, Temple has a chance to break a school mark with eleven wins. has the Temple listed as 2-point favorites and the game's total is sitting at 49½.

On the NCAA Football Moneyline odds at BetOnline Temple are at -135.

Temple Owls vs. Toledo Rockets Early Odds & Betting Lines

Gm# Team
216 Temple
215 Toledo

Live College Football Bowl Odds & Scores - Click here

In their last action, Toledo was a 35-30 loser at home against Broncos. They failed to cover the -7-point spread as favorites, while the combined score (65) was profitable news for OVER bettors.

Temple was a 24-13 loser in their most recent outing on the road against Cougars. They failed to cover the +4.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score (37) made winners of UNDER bettors.

Temple Owls vs. Toledo Rockets NCAA Betting Odds & Trends

Temple is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Temple is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Temple's last 7 games

Toledo is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 games
Toledo is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Toledo's last 11 games

The Reality:
The Rockets may have a different coach, but expect them to use the same approach in the bowl game, which is rushing the ball aplenty and playing stingy defense on the other side of the ball.

With Kareem Hunt leading the charge, Toledo averages 41.7 carries per contest. In fact, three different running backs — Hunt, Terry Swanson and Damion Jones-Moore — have scored at least five touchdowns. The Rockets finished the season No. 1 in the Mid-American conference with 213.2 rushing yards per game.

With Phillip Ely under center, the Rockets were able to complement their backfield with a respectable passing offense that enters the Boca Raton Bowl averaging 250.1 yards per game, 41st in the nation.

Seven different players have double-digit receptions, with Cody Thompson, Alonzo Russell and Corey Jones all contributing 535 yards or more. And with an offensive line that has allowed four sacks all year (2nd in FBS), the Rockets have soared to 35.3 points per game.

Toledo isn’t too shabby defensively either. The Rockets are 23rd in the nation in scoring defense (21.1 points allowed per game) and 52nd in total defense (378.8 yards).

The Owls will prove to be an imposing team to face for Toledo. For one, the Owls possess one of the best defenses in the nation. Temple’s stop unit is 16th in the nation in scoring defense, as they allowed just 19.2 points and 329.5 total yards in previous games.

With linebacker Tyler Matakevich leading Temple’s defense, there’s a good chance that the Owls would cripple this aspect of the Rockets’ offense. Matakevich recently won the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive player.

He was the only FBS player to lead his team in tackles in each regular-season game, and he broke the 100-tackle mark in each of his four seasons. Matakevich is also a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

Opponents have struggled to run the ball on the Owls in 2015, who rank 21st nationally in that category (126.2 yards per game) and are fifth with an incredible 101 tackles for a loss.

On offense, Temple will look to take advantage of Toledo’s susceptible pass defense. While Toledo is among the best defensive teams in the nation like Temple, the Rockets are just 12th in the MAC in passing defense with 263.3 passing yards allowed per game.

Quarterback P.J. Walker (2,737 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and seven interceptions) will look to connect in this game with Jahad Thomas, the team’s biggest threat down field. Thomas enters the game with 1,257 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns on the season.

In the backfield leading the way for the Owls has been RB Jahad Thomas who finished the season with 17 rushing TD’s while averaging 96.69 rushing yds/game.

The result:
Both teams a pretty evenly matched on the offensive side of the ball but an aggressive Temple defense with tackle machine Matakevik leading the way should be able to keep Toledo’s backfield in check for most of the game. Take Temple -2½ and under 49.

Aengus NCAA College Football Bowl Prediction and Pick: Temple -2½ at BetOnline


alonzo russell - boca raton bowl - cody thompson - corey jones - damion jones-moore - jahad thomas - jason candle - kareem hunt - matt campbell - nagurski award

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