Temple vs. Wyoming Spread at -7

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Temple vs. Wyoming Spread

The Temple vs. Wyoming spread hasn’t moved much this week from -6.5 to -7 in favor of the Cowboys.  This is Carrie Stroup reporting for Gambling911.com and reminding all you fine readers out there that Sportsbook.com has all your betting props for this game plus up to $250 in FREE CASH when you open an account today here.

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Temple -7 & 50.5

Opening Line & Total: Owls -6.5 & 48

The 35-game college bowl season begins Saturday when Temple and Wyoming, both 8-4, square off in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque.

This game features two run-heavy teams, as Temple ranks seventh in the nation with 257 rush YPG and Wyoming gains 185 rush YPG. Owls junior RB Bernard Pierce has rumbled for 126 YPG (6th in nation) and 25 TD in 11 games and will be quite a handful for a Cowboys team allowing 230 rushing YPG (6th-most in nation). Temple (8-4 ATS) is the better team here, having lost by just four points to Penn State and suffering two other narrow defeats (by three at Bowling Green and by four at Ohio). Wyoming has been blown out in all four of its defeats, losing by 44, 24, 22 and 11 points. The Owls are also much better defensively, holding five opponents (including Maryland) to seven points or less. The Cowboys have allowed 31+ points five times this season.

Pierce has been consistently excellent all season, rushing for at least 145 yards six times. He has also scored 3+ TD on six different occasions. With Pierce and Matt Brown (867 rush yds, 6.1 YPC, 5 TD) running so effectively, the Owls don’t bother throwing the ball that often. They have the fifth-fewest pass attempts (186, 15.5 per game) in all of FBS. Chris Coyer did not play in the season finale because of a shoulder injury, but he is listed as probable for Saturday’s game. In his three games this season, Coyer is a solid 22-of-38 (58%) for 294 yards, 5 TD and 0 INT. He has also rushed for 491 yards (8.6 YPC) and three touchdowns this year behind a beefy offensive line with an average weight of 319 pounds per lineman. The Owls offense has played turnover-free football in six of its 12 games this year.

Temple ranks third in the nation in scoring defense (13.8 PPG) and 15th in total defense (316 YPG). Senior DL Adrian Robinson leads the team with six sacks and senior LB Stephen Johnson has piled up 113 tackles, including 30 in the past two games. Temple last won a bowl game in 1979, but has only played in one bowl since, a 2009 loss to UCLA in the Eagle Bank Bowl.

Wyoming junior RB Alvester Alexander leads his team with 678 rushing yards, but has not reached 100 yards in any game this year. However, Alexander is familiar with University Stadium. He rushed for 137 yards on just 12 carries in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, a 35-28 double-overtime win over Fresno State. Freshman QB Brett Smith has had a great first collegiate season (2,495 pass yds, 18 TD, 8 INT; 645 rush yds, 10 TD), but he will be missing his top receiver, Chris McNeill (504 rec. yds in 9 games), who suffered a season-ending arm injury on Nov. 12. But Smith has other weapons, as four other receivers have at least 30 catches and 340 yards this season.

Defensively, the Cowboys’ undersized defensive line (270-pound average) could have trouble stuffing Temple’s potent ground game. And since the Owls rank 10th in the nation in time of possession (32:51), Wyoming’s defenders could be spending a lot of time on the field. That doesn’t bode well for a team ranked 98th in the country in total defense (432 YPG allowed). The Cowboys are on a two-bowl win streak, beating UCLA in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl before their 2009 New Mexico Bowl triumph.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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