Cincinnati will host Temple under the Friday night lights in a game that kicks off at 7 PM EST and can be seen on ESPN. The Bearcats are a huge 29 point favorite with a total of 54.
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Cincinnati comes in undefeated at 4-0 and ranked 5th in the nation. They are fresh off perhaps the biggest win in school history, beating Notre Dame at South Bend, 24-13.
Temple comes into this game 3-2. They had a couple of shaky games against Rutgers and Boston College along with a couple of wins against weak opposition. But last week they beat a decent Memphis team, proving the Owls still have a pulse.
11/23/2019 Temple 13 +10.0 at Cincinnati 15 10/20/2018 Cincinnati 17 + 2.5 at Temple 24 11/10/2017 Temple 35 - 2.5 at Cincinnati 24 10/29/2016 Cincinnati 13 + 7.5 at Temple 34 9/12/2015 Temple 34 + 6.5 at Cincinnati 26 11/29/2014 Cincinnati 14 - 6.5 at Temple 6 10/11/2013 Temple 20 +21.0 at Cincinnati 38 11/10/2012 Cincinnati 34 - 9.0 at Temple 10 9/20/2003 Temple 24 +14.0 at Cincinnati 30 9/28/2002 Cincinnati 35 - 7.0 at Temple 22
When you look at the recent history you see several close games with each team winning their share. As recently as 2019 it was a 2 point game with the winner advancing to the AAC title game.
So how can Temple go from a 2 point loss to the Bearcats in 2019 to a 30 point underdog in 2021?
Well, much of it has to do with 2020. A couple of things happened after the 2019 season. One, Temple lost 4 players to the NFL. For a program like Temple, that’s rare.
The other thing that happened of course, was COVID. In Temple’s case, you really need to discard the 2020 season. They barely had enough players to field a team and never really practiced until a week before the season started.
If ever there was a text book case for a team to have a letdown, this would be it. Cincinnati is fresh off their monumental win at Notre Dame. Now they have to play on short rest against the lowly Temple Owls knowing full well they are expected to win in blow out fashion by 30+ points.
Their opponent on the other hand, is now playing in THEIR biggest game of the season with the chance to prove they aren’t a joke. Heck, they beat Memphis last week but are still getting zero respect from the oddsmakers.
The situation alone warrants a play on Temple. Actually, it warrants 3 plays, as follows.