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UCONN vs. Temple

Betting Line: UCONN -6.5

9/18/10

The UCONN Huskies stepped up to the big time against Michigan in their first game of the year and were quickly smashed back to reality in a 30-10 loss. They bounced back last week taking their frustrations out on Texas Southern, at home, by a score of 62-3. Now, a minor step up the class ladder again, although not to far, to take on Temple on the road. The betting line opened up Connecticut -4 and was quickly bet up to -6 as Huskie money rolled in.

Temple has come a long way under Al Golden. They won just one game in 2006 when he took over and improved their win total in each of the next 3 years, winning 4, 5 and then 9 games last season. They weren't anyone's punching bags either. They knocked off Navy and hung tough with UCLA in a bowl game. They return 9 offense starters and 7 from the defense, so no reason to expect Temple won't be every bit as tough this year as they were last year.

UCONN and temple have tangled before. They didn't play last year but did play in 2007 and in 2008 and both of those games came down to the wire. In 2007 UCONN won at home 22-17 however a catch by Temple's Bruce Francis in the end zone with 40 seconds remaining was ruled to be incomplete. UCONN was a 31 point favorite in that game. In 2008 Temple was out for revenge but fell in overtime, 12-9 in a game played in a mud bowl. Many of these same players, from both teams, remember those games. 

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Big things were expected from the Huskies this year and big things can still happen, but I think the loss to Michigan shows us that UCONN is still a ways away from competing with the upper class of college football regularly. Sure, on any given day, they could probably shock many teams. But week in and week out, competing on that level, not yet. Not much different from another program on the rise, Temple.

Certainly the value here now lies with Temple, after the 2.5 point line move. We'd hope to see UCONN money continue to come in and push this line to +7 at which point we'd be very interested in backing the home dog Temple. So for now, at +6.5, we'll stay away. But we'll gladly grab the first +7 that flashes on the odds screen. Temple +7

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