Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 7:00 AM
That’s right…the only college football game this week matching a pair of ranked teams features #9 Notre Dame visiting #21 Temple Saturday night in a matchup that will be nationally televised by ABC. So…Temple isn’t just in a big game…they’re in the prime time showcase!
Is Temple really that good? Well, they are undefeated. But, their schedule has been pretty pathetic, and it’s hard to imagine they’d still be unscathed if they played in a major conference. The Vegas line makes that clear…as Notre Dame is a double digit favorite on the ROAD. And, JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats will make it clear as well. Temple isn’t one of the 25 best teams in the nation. Can they cover the spread Saturday night? Let’s crunch some numbers!
Notre Dame: 6-1 (as an Independent, only loss on road in rain to #3 Clemson)
Temple: 7-0 (4-0 in American Athletic Conference)
Notre Dame is still in the national championship discussion because they’re only loss was in a very tough spot to a very good team…and because so many other contenders seem likely to drop at least one game before the end of the season. If the Irish make it to 11-1, with the only loss coming at Clemson…they just might crack the Final Four. Temple hasn’t beaten anybody who matters…but they do have wins that at least garner respect. Temple beat Penn State 27-10, East Carolina 24-14, and Cincinnati 34-26 (though they lost stats badly in the latter). They truly are a serious contender to win the AAC. Solid mid-major.
Notre Dame: 7.3 on offense, 5.6 on defense
Temple: 5.2 on offense, 4.4 on defense
Wow…only +0.8 yards-per-play against a pathetic schedule! Temple might actually not even be seen as a top 50 team if they had to play in one of the major conferences. This offense would be in particular trouble against any opponent that can stop the run. Great offensive marks for the Irish this season, even with a backup quarterback playing most of the time. You can see why ND is such a big market favorite. Much better numbers vs. a much tougher schedule.
2014 Turnover Differential
Notre Dame: even
You’ll recall that turnovers killed Notre Dame in that Clemson game. That could still be an issue whenever they play away from home. Temple probably needs to win this category to have any chance to compete Saturday night. Honestly, +3 vs. this schedule while running a low risk offense isn’t very good. This may be the game where Temple implodes because they’re so unused to stepping up in class. If they fall behind and have to pass through the second half…it could get ugly.
2014 Market Performance
Notre Dame: 6-1 ATS
Temple: 5-2 ATS
It’s rare for oddsmakers to undershoot the mark this much on a public team like Notre Dame. The line’s usually stacked against the Irish. Losing their starting quarterback might have been a red herring. A lot of talent here…and the ability to score enough to cover in normal conditions. Temple’s also been a great value team in their own context. A combined 11-3 ATS for the two combatants…and another reminder that the market misreads many teams in the first half of each football season.
Notre Dame: DeShone Kizer (100-153-4-1370 with 10 TDs)
Temple: P.J. Walker (113-189-3-1314 with 9 TDs)
Similar yardage and TD/INT ratios…but Kizer is doing that against a much tougher schedule. Plus, Kizer is much more accurate in his throws. That’s 53 incomplete passes vs. the tough schedule, compared to 76 misfires for Walker against a much softer defensive challenge. Clear edge to Kizer after you make the schedule adjustment.
Current Line: Notre Dame by 11, total of 49.5
There have been many disagreements already between the market and the polls. Utah being #3 last week sure looks like folly in retrospect. Temple in the Top 25 will probably feel the same way at some point. But, they could make this one very interesting if they get fired up for their highest profile game of the season and play clean football. Talent-wise, it’s a mismatch for the visitor. Notre Dame would be favored by about -14 if this were a postseason bowl…and by about 17 on a Saturday afternoon in South Bend.
JIM HURLEY always makes sure we preview the best TV matchup here in the NOTEBOOK. But, he won’t release a formal selection in the game unless clear betting value exists for his clients. You can purchase the final word for Saturday’s full college slate right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended football service, please call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Don’t forget to ask about the World Series and early season NBA when you call…
Some true BLOCKBUSTERS coming up over the next several days here in the NOTEBOOK…
Sunday: NFL TV Preview… Green Bay at Denver (!!)
Monday: NFL TV Preview… Indianapolis at Carolina
Midweek: NFL TV Preview…Cleveland at Cincinnati
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview…LSU at Alabama (!!)
That’s Packers/Broncos in the Sunday night game…and then LSU/Alabama in an SEC showdown everyone’s been waiting for. You can already tell it’s going to be a NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER!
Thanks for checking out our Notre Dame/Temple preview. Your BIG, JUICY WINNERS await. Let’s go GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
Be sure to follow:
Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters