Military Bowl Pick

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Military Bowl Pick

Wake Forest

vs.

Temple

12/27/16

At first glance, this spread looks a bit odd, but then you realize that Temple has covered a ridiculous 12-straight Games. So while Wake Forest comes out of the ACC, that doesn’t matter. For the Military Bowl in Annapolis, the Owls are -12 point favorites as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.

There’s no other word but impressive that describes Temple’s against the spread record this season, with their only loss coming when they were a double-digit favorite in the opener and lost outright by 15 points to Army. They coasted through most of the AAC and won their last six Games by double digits. In the AAC championship, they dismantled Navy, although the Midshipmen lost their starting QB in the process. Of course, with that being the case in the Navy Game, Temple’s best wins came against UCF and USF. Otherwise, it was mostly easy pickings.

On the other side, there aren’t many positives for the Demon Deacons after starting the season with Four-straight wins. Their three ACC wins came against losing teams and their best non-Conference win came against 6-6 Indiana. In addition, the Deacons lost five of their last six Games, including home losses to Army and Boston College.

In like opponents, Temple lost 28-13 to Army in the opener and won at Tulane 31-0 late in the year. Wake Forest beat Tulane 7-3 in the opener and lost 21-13 to Army later in the season.

Temple has great numbers across the board on both sides of the ball, but that’s kind of what happens when you play Four one-win AAC teams. Not to take away from a 10-3 season, but the Owls had a favorable Schedule.

That said, they are extremely balanced led by quarterback Phillip Walker. His numbers aren’t great with 20 TDs and 12 INTs, but he’s slightly improved from a year ago and is at 8.38 yards per attempt. That’s a solid rate and when you have a good running Game, that’s enough. Jahad Thomas (918 yards, 13 TDs) and Ryquell Armstead (918 yards, 14 TDs) have been one of the better duos in the country and that’s where they attack first.

The Owls don’t Scorea ton, but seemed to reach 30 points in almost every Game this season, especially down the stretch. The only way Wake can win or cover this Game is via its defense. Their numbers aren’t as good as Temple, but a lot of that has to do with playing teams like Louisville and Clemson in back-to-back weeks. Notably, the Demon Deacons held Florida State to 17 points and even keeping the Army triple-option to 21 points was a good outing. The goal for them will be to keep Temple below 20 points.

The problem for Wake is on the offensive side where they’ll struggle to reach double digits. John Wolford will probably get the start at quarterback, but it doesn’t really matter as he had 7 TDs and 9 INTs on the season with 5.68 yards per attempt. Wolford provides help in the running Game because they need it. Running backs Matt Colburn and Cade Carney have shared touches as of late with neither above 4.1 yards per carry.

The obvious route for backing Wake is that Temple will be led by interim head coach Ed Foley with Matt Rhule moving to Baylor. For a Game that’s expected to be defensive and for the favorite having an interim head coach, the spread seems a bit high.

The Owls only have good ATS numbers as they’ve covered in 12 straight, but they’re still just 5-2 ATS in their last seven non-Conference Games.  The Demon Deacons are 5-0 ATS in their last five following an ATS loss and 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral-site Games. Both sides have numbers pointing to the under.

Our Pick – Back in November, we played Wake Forest +35 over Louisville. We really liked the Wake Forest defense to keep that Game within the spot. For 3 quarters, we really looked like we knew what we were talking about as the Scoreat the end of 3 was 12-10 Wake Forest.

Then the Cards exploded for 34 points in the 4th quarter! Sure, we still won Our pay, but barely, and had we not, that would have been one of the worst “bad beats” of Our career!

We mention this because we still like the Wake Forest defense and Temple isn’t Louisville. If Wake Forest can contain Louisville for 3 quarters they should be able to contain Temple for 4. Motivation for the Temple side may also be a concern as a 10-3 record should land a team in a better, higher profile Bowl Game. Not a cold weather site and the very same place of your last Game! Wake Forest +12

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