Temple Owls vs Central Florida Knights Odds, Picks, Predictions (10/13/22)

The poor Temple Owls are going through their fifth coaching change in six seasons. But this one might actually stick.

Stan Drayton’s Owls are just 2-3 but the defensive scheme change has turned them into one of the AAC’s better defenses. The Owls are allowing just four yards per play.

The offense is the problem, and that’s why they will likely struggle in the Bounce House on Thursday. Remember that the Knights are 33-4 SU at the Bounce House in the last five seasons.

But covering a 23-point spread with a total under 47 is a big ask. Is that too many points?

Let’s break it down. Read on for our Temple Owls vs Central Florida Knights Broncos odds, picks, and predictions.

Temple Owls vs Central Florida Knights Odds

Temple is taking the smart and sharp money, with the line being steamed down slightly from the 23.5-point opener.

I’m not sure how much more the line will move, given it’s a weird spread. The number will definitely not drop below 21, and I’m not sure it matters if it gets to 21.

I think Temple is a sharp play. Let’s talk about why.

Temple Owls vs Central Florida Knights Prediction & Pick

Temple is allowing just 3.2 yards per rush this season while ranking 25th in Stuff Rate. They’re getting a big push at the point of attack, ranking top-10 in Havoc created and top-30 in Defensive Line Yards. The Owls have a whopping 20 sacks on the season.

But it’s not just the front seven. The Owls are top-15 in PFF’s Coverage grades so far.

Drayton and new defensive coordinator DJ Eliot have come in and transformed this defense, and it’s working to perfection.


The best part of Temple’s defense is its ability to hold teams in the red zone. The Owls are 16th nationally in Points Per Opportunity allowed, with opponents averaging just 2.8 points every time they cross Temple’s 40-yard line.

The Owls can’t move the ball. Temple is one of the worst offenses in the nation. In the meanwhile, UCF is fourth nationally in Points Per Opportunity allowed. Meaning if Temple does move the ball, they’ll have a tough time punching the ball in.

But UCF’s offense doesn’t match up well against this Temple defense. The Knights rely on the ground game, rushing at a top-15 rate nationally. The Knights are very effective on the ground and have an excellent offensive line. They also have a dual-threat quarterback in John Rhys Plumlee, who can explode for a 100-yard rushing performance at any moment.


But Plumlee is one of the least efficient quarterbacks in the nation and the Knights aren’t great in the red zone. UCF will just run right into the Temple wall.

I think we’re in for a Rock Fight on Thursday night. While this would imply taking the under, the number is just too low.

Instead, I’ll happily take the Owls and the points. Betting on road underdogs with low totals is generally a sharp play, and I think Temple’s defense keeps the Owls in this game.

Temple Owls vs Central Florida Knights Key Matchups

Key Matchup: John Rhys Plumlee vs Temple’s Front Seven

I think the UCF rush attack will struggle to get through the Temple defensive line. Can Gus Malzahn scheme his way around the stout front seven using his dual-threat quarterback?

I think the Knights should be able to use some RPO and triple-option looks to fool Temple’s inexperienced defense. That might be the Knights’ best option to pick up chunk rushing plays.

On the flip side, can Temple adjust to facing a quarterback as athletic and capable as Plumlee? They have yet to really face a quarterback of this level, and it could be a rude wake-up call.

This will be a huge matchup to watch in this game.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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