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Temple rolled to a 12-2 mark against the spread last season, making the Owls the best bet in the country. They’re also 35-17 ATS over the last four seasons. But runs like that tend to reverse themselves over time, and that’s the prospect Temple faces heading into its 2017 season opener at Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon.
College football point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 15.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 35.0-26.2 Owls (College football picks on every game)
Why the Temple Owls can cover the spread
Temple returns 10 starters this season from the team that won the AAC championship last season. The Owls started 3-3 last year, then won seven games in a row, including a drubbing of Navy in the conference championship game.
Six starters are back on offense, including a talented trio of receivers and three along the offensive line. And while only four starters are back from a defense that held foes to just 283 yards and 18 points per game last year, three of them are part of a good secondary.
Temple went 4-0-1 ATS last year as an underdog on the betting lines, winning three of those games outright. And over the last two seasons, the Owls are 9-1-1 ATS as dogs, with seven outright victories.
Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread
Notre Dame, placed 23rd in the College Football Preseason Power Rankings at PredictionMachine.com, gets back 15 starters for a team looking to bounce back after going 4-8 last season.
The Irish opened last year with a double-overtime loss to Texas and eventually lost seven games by a touchdown or less, and four games by a total of 10 points.
Eight starters return on offense, including last year’s leading rusher and receiver and four along the line. And seven starters are back on a defense that is expected to improve upon the 379 yards per game it allowed last year.
The Irish should bounce back this season, while it’s likely the Owls will take a step back. Notre Dame lost a bunch of close games last year and struggled ATS, but we shouldn’t be surprised if they turn those trends around this season.
Meanwhile, Temple has many holes to fill, including at head coach following Matt Rhule’s departure. The smart money at sports betting sites gives the points with the Irish.
College football betting trends
Temple is 12-1 ATS in its last 13 games.
Temple is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games on the road.
Notre Dame is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games.
All college football odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.