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Temple vs. Wyoming

New Mexico Bowl Pick with Analysis

12/17/11

Temple and Wyoming get the College Football Bowl season started with the New Mexico Bowl on December 17th. It will be the 1st of 35 Bowl games which will run through January 9th and as much as we love college football, if you ask us, it's about 20 games too many. We can land a man on the moon, but we can't come up with a college football playoff system where all the schools still benefit financially? Imagine how popular a college football playoff system would be? It would be like March Madness. Maybe some day.

Temple is currently a -6.5 point favorite over Wyoming with a total of 48, although some shops still have Temple -7. 5 Dimes for example opened the game -6.5 and the game was bet up to -7. Betonline opened the game -6 and it was bet up to -6.5 -115 while some shops even opened up Temple -7.5 and it was bet down to -7 and -6.5.

If you look at some of Temple's numbers this year, you'd think they were capable of playing for a national title. Those who follow our write ups regularly know we like to use yards per point numbers to get a quick snapshot of a teams capabilities. Temple's ypp numbers are among the best in the nation with a 12.6 on offense and a 22.8 on defense. Those numbers are right up there with LSU's and Alabama's.

Of course, we know that Temple isn't nearly as good as LSU and Alabama. Temple plays a MAC schedule that is roughly 20 points weaker than that of LSU's, which you'd obviously have to factor in to your handicapping. However, their opponent, Wyoming, plays a schedule just about equal in strength to Temple, so we can use these numbers when comparing the two teams. Wyoming has an offensive ypp number of 14.8 and a defensive number of 16.

Both of these teams were 8-4 this year and both had some ups and downs and unpredictable results. Temple went toe to toe with Penn State and whipped Maryland, only to lose to teams like Bowling Green and Ohio. Wyoming beat San Diego State and Air Force yet lost to Utah State 63-19 and barely beat Weber State. The one common opponent was Bowling Green. Wyoming beat Bowling Green 28-27 while Temple lost 13-10.

Motivation can be a huge factor in bowl games. Teams with higher expectations may be disappointed with a minor bowl game like this. That will likely not be the case for these two. Temple, despite an 8-4 record a year ago, was snubbed and didn't appear in a bowl. They have only played in 3 bowl games in their history, one in 2009, one in 1979 and one in 1934! Wyoming has had more appearances, even a couple in the past decade, but still not a regular happening. Both teams should be motivated.

The numbers suggest Temple is the better team. Our score prediction model agrees, predicting a 29-14 Temple win. Rarely will be go the other way in a situation like this. Again, Temple's yards per point numbers are fantastic. But the feeling here is that Temple hasn't played many teams with fire power that Wyoming has. Yes, they shut down some MAC teams, but they also gave up 35 to Ohio and Toledo burned them for 36.

While Wyoming was beaten by Nebraska, Boise State and TCU, holding those teams to 38, 36 and 31 points could actually be looked at as an accomplishment. Boise and TCU averaged 40+ points per game and Temple has no where near the fire power offensively as those two. The feeling here is that if Wyoming can keep Temple in the 20's, this could be a close game decided by less than a TD.

We'll buck our own numbers here and take the underdog. You should be able to get +7 at regular juice by game time. Right now it would be +7-115. Either way, you want the full touchdown. Wyoming +7

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