Temple Owls vs. Vanderbilt Commodores: College Football Week 1 Betting Preview

Temple Owls vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
Thursday, 8/28/14, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Vanderbilt -19.5
Current Betting Line:  Vanderbilt -19.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Vanderbilt Commodores will begin life under first-year head coach Derek Mason
The Vanderbilt Commodores will begin life under first-year head coach Derek Mason

Temple has some reasons to be optimistic heading into the 2014 season, as it welcomes back 13 starters from a squad that led 85 percent of the time in its last six games a year ago.  Just to put that number in perspective over the course of its 2-10 record in 2013—the program trailed over 78 percent of the time in the season’s first six affairs.  It’s important to point out that the squad is 2-11 SU in its last 13 road openers, while it looks to snap an 18-game losing streak versus teams that hail from a BCS conference.  Temple has covered the number in its last four games played outside of Lincoln Financial Field.

The Owls are expecting a better season from sophomore signal-caller P.J. Walker, who rank for 488 yards and threw for another 2,084, while also accounting for 23 total touchdowns.  Temple is still a young bunch with only five seniors on the roster, but it should remain competitive in this matchup, with one of the best linebacker groups in the country at its disposal.  Tyler Matakevich broke the school record with 137 tackles—10.5 for loss a season ago.

Vanderbilt will have a new look with first-year head coach Derek Mason taking over for the departed James Franklin, who is now the front man of the Penn State Nittany Lions.    The Commodores were on the rise in the Southeastern Conference, but may take a step back, especially with only 10 overall starters returning to the fold in Nashville.  Mason will want to air it out a bit in this affair, considering it will have to lean heavily on the running game down the road, especially with a Week 2 affair versus Mississippi on a neutral field up next on the schedule.  Vanderbilt is 4-1 ATS in its last five Thursday games, which can’t be ignored when making your college football picks.

The Commodores are hoping to tout one of the best defensive lines nationally, as many believed it was Franklin’s best group since he arrived.  Vanderbilt will definitely challenge Temple in the trenches, which is important to consider when looking over the college football odds page.  Don’t lay too many points in this affair, with the Commodores getting out-gained by an average of 76 yards during conference play in 2013.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 6-2 in the Commodores’ last eight non-conference tilts.

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