Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Prediction
Bowl season rolls on Friday with a triple-header, starting with the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl at 1:30 p.m. ET. With Temple listed as a small favorite over Duke, will the Owls cover the spread for bettors?
236 Temple Owls vs. 235 Duke Blue Devils
1:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, December 27, 2018
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Owls are 3.5-point favorites to beat the Blue Devils. The total, meanwhile, sits at 53.5 points. As of this writing, 57% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Blue Devils.
Outgoing Miami DC Manny Diaz will coach in the team’s Pinstripe Bowl showdown with Wisconsin on Dec. 27. Diaz was introduced as Temple’s new head coach on Thursday, but he is not completely done with the Hurricanes, explaining to reporters that he “just wanted to be with [the Miami team] one last time.” Split attention between a new job — with the early signing window about to open — and an old one during bowl season is a tale as old as time, though not always a tale which ends in clean fashion.
Duke Blue Devils
Pro Football Focus’s Michael Renner notes that Duke redshirt junior QB Daniel Jones is a draft prospect whose production didn’t justify the hype. Jones (6’5/220) is considered one of the better quarterback prospects in this class, although he has yet to declare for the draft. The analytics suggest that hype might not be justified, as he finished with a passing grade of 79.7 and an overall grade of 81.2. They do note that passer grade is considerably higher than the 57.8 mark he put up as a redshirt sophomore, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. “Jones’ 13 big-time throws this season rank 71st in the country and he has almost as many turnover-worthy plays (11) as he does big-time throws,” Renner writes. The stats can often be misleading — Jones doesn’t have near the talent that some other signal-callers do — but it’s certainly something to keep in mind.
The over is 4-1 in the Owls’ last five games versus ACC opponents but the under is 5-1 in their last six games played in the month of December.
The over is a perfect 5-0 in the Blue Devils’ last five bowl games and is 4-1 in their last five non-conference matchups.
The Owls have been a fantastic play for bettors over their last 50-plus games. They’re 37-17 against the number in their last 54 games overall and thrive against opponents with winning records, covering in 14 of their last 20 opportunities. They’re also 44-15 at the betting window in their last 59 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game, while Duke is just 3-7-1 ATS in its last 11 games coming off a loss. While the Owls won six of their final seven games, the Blue Devils lost their final two games by a combined 94-13.
Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Prediction: Temple Owls -3.5