Temple vs UCF Odds, Picks and Predictions: Owls' Flightless Offense Remains Stuck

Temple's offense has been downright horrendous this year, with the Owls unable to muster anything. On the road to UCF, our college football picks expect the Owls to remain grounded against the Knights.

Jason Ence - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Jason Ence • Betting Analyst
Oct 13, 2022 • 11:50 ET • 4 min read
Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste Temple Owls college football
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night will see a pair of AAC opponents square off, as the Temple Owls travel to Orlando for a showdown with the UCF Knights. The Knights have won seven of the nine meetings between the two schools, including each of the last five, and are garnering attention after winning four of their first five games.

Both teams come into the game with impressive defensive numbers, but their offenses couldn’t be further apart. We break down how that impacts your best opportunity to make some money on the game in our Temple vs. UCF college football picks and predictions for Thursday, October 13.

Temple vs UCF best odds

Temple vs UCF picks and predictions

Despite the lack of results, many Temple fans believe that Stan Drayton has the program headed on an upward trajectory. After going 3-9 last season, the Owls have already won two games in 2022 and were leading at halftime in their last game against Memphis before collapsing down the stretch.

Now, the Owls come off a bye week and look to improve on their performance against UCF from a season ago, a team who dominated them from the opening whistle en route to a 49-7 blowout. 

Temple’s offense has been woeful this season, but not even that word is strong enough to describe how the team’s performed away from home. In defeats at Memphis two weeks ago and Duke to open the season, the Owls were outscored by a combined 54-3.

Temple has had success defensively this season, evidenced by holding Memphis without a point in the first half two weeks ago. The Owls rank 15th in points allowed per game and 12th in yards given up per play. They’re also getting third-down stops on 75% of their opponents’ attempts, and rank third in red-zone defense.

But for all the work their defense has done to keep them in games, their offense has been abysmal much of the season. The Owls are gaining just 2.4 yards per carry on the ground, and complete just 52.6% of their pass attempts. They are one of the worst teams in college football in the red zone and rank 128th in third-down success. The Owls have also been their worst enemy in their two road losses, having turned the ball over five times.

Asking the Owls to suddenly find offensive success on the road is a tall task, but it’s an even tougher one when you realize how dominant UCF has been defensively this season. The Knights have been outstanding on that side of the ball under head coach Gus Malzahn. They are ranked first in the nation in red-zone defense and are ranked in the Top 20 in scoring defense and third-down defense.

UCF has yet to allow an opponent to score more than 20 points this season, and two of its five opponents have failed to reach double digits. The Knights are a disciplined team that doesn’t allow teams to score inside the red zone and gets off the field on third down. 

It’s very difficult to envision a scenario where Temple suddenly finds offensive success against UCF’s defense when they managed just three against a Memphis team that isn’t nearly as good on that side of the ball. 

Take the Under on their team total as your best shot at making money from this contest. 

My best bet: Temple team total Under 11.5 (-135 at DraftKings)

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Temple vs UCF spread analysis

Given the beatdown UCF inflicted on the Owls a year ago, combined with Temple’s offensive struggles, it’s no surprise that the Knights are heavily favored in this contest. 

That being said, the line has moved to -23.5 for UCF, having quickly moved down from the weekend where it was anywhere between -25 and -27.5 depending on the book.

That is largely due to Temple’s improvement defensively, as it ranks in the Top 20 in scoring defense, yards per game, third-down defense, and passing yards allowed. However, it’s yet to face a rushing attack like that possessed by UCF. 

The Knights are averaging 241.5 yards per game on the ground, and their 5.1 yards per carry ranks 20th in the country. They’ve also scored at least 40 points in three of their five games this season.

The Owls have failed to cover the spread in their last six games away from home, and have covered just once in their last five games against UCF. Temple has also covered just three times in their last 16 games against conference opponents. 

The favorite has paid out well in recent history, with the favored team covering in four of the last five matchups.

Temple vs UCF Over/Under analysis

The total has fluctuated throughout the week since opening but is right back where it started at 46.0.

Not a single one of Temple’s five games this season has reached that number, with its 30-14 win over Lafayette being the only game to even top 30 points. The Knights, on the other hand, have seen an average of 50.2 points in their five wins, with three of their five games going over this game’s total.

Temple’s two road games have failed to top 30 points, due to the inefficient offense from the Owls. That’s a big reason why the Under is 4-1 in their five games this season. The Under is also 4-0 in UCF’s last four games. 

That said, the score tends to go past the number when these two teams play each other, with the total going Over in four of their last five meetings.

Temple vs UCF betting trend to know

The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five games between Temple and UCF. Find more NCAA betting trends for Temple vs. UCF.

Temple vs UCF game info

Location: FBC Mortgage Stadium, Orlando, FL
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2022
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET

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Temple vs UCF weather

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