The Temple Owls are the best bet in college football this season, at 11-1 against the spread, and division champions for the second straight season. Temple now hunts for a conference title when it takes on Navy in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game on Saturday afternoon on the Midshipmen’s home field in Annapolis, Maryland.
Point spread: The Midshipmen opened as 1.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 39.6-31.8 Owls (College football picks on every game)
Why the Temple Owls can cover the spread
The Owls, coming off this season at 7-1 to win the AAC East, fly a six-game winning streak into Saturday, after disposing of East Carolina last week 37-10. Temple, at minus-23, took a quick jab to the nose against the Pirates, falling down 7-0 five minutes into the game, then scored the next 27 points. The Owls later brought their financial backers great happiness by tacking on a touchdown with just over three minutes to go to secure the cover.
On the night Temple outgained East Carolina 414-225, and outrushed the Pirates 256-42. The Owls have now outgained each of their last nine opponents and outrushed their last six foes.
Two weeks ago Temple shut out Tulane 31-0, and just before that it blanked Connecticut 21-0. In fact, the Owls have allowed a total of just 23 points over their last four games.
Why the Navy Midshipmen can cover the spread
Navy, who went off at 10-1 this season to win the AAC, sails a four-game winning streak into this championship bout, following last week’s 75-31 smashing of SMU. The Middies actually spotted the Mustangs the game’s first touchdown, and trailed 24-21 late into the second quarter, but scored just before halftime to take a lead into the locker room. Navy then exploded for six more unanswered touchdowns to open the second half, on its way to an easy cover as a seven-point favorite on the road.
For the day the Midshipmen cranked out 600 yards of offense, including a season-high 496 on the ground on 48 rushing attempts. According to our math, that’s better than 10 yards per carry.
Navy has now outrushed its last four opponents by an average of 265 yards per game. Two weeks ago the Middies put up 66 points on East Carolina, and just before that they posted 42 on Tulsa. So this Navy offense is rolling at the moment.
The Midshipmen own that lethal triple-option running game, but Temple owns the more balanced offensive attack and the better defense. The wise money in this spot sides with the Owls.
Temple is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games against Navy.
The total has gone over in six of Navy’s last seven games.
Navy is 10-3-1 ATS in its last 14 games at home.
All college football lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the Odds Shark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.