Thursday's college football slate was busy, but it was one game short of its original schedule. A tilt between the Temple Owls and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights shifted to Saturday due to the fallout from Hurricane Ida, with Rutgers still hosting the proceedings. Temple aims to bounce back from a disappointing 1-6 showing in the abbreviated 2020 campaign. Rutgers is looking to continue a rebuild that saw a 3-6 record last season under Greg Schiano.
Kick-off is at noon ET in Piscataway. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Scarlet Knights as 14.5-point home favorites, up from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 52 in the latest Temple vs. Rutgers odds. Before finalizing any Rutgers vs. Temple picks, check out the college football predictions from Tom Fornelli.
The CBS national writer and SportsLine expert has been profitable across multiple sports, but his specialty is college football. What's more, he has demonstrated a particularly sharp eye for Temple. In fact, Fornelli is an impressive 7-2 on college football picks involving the Owls. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
- Temple vs. Rutgers spread: Rutgers -14.5
- Temple vs. Rutgers over-under: 52 points
- Temple vs. Rutgers money line: Rutgers -675, Temple +475
- TEM: The Owls finished 2-5 against the spread in 2020
- RUT: The Scarlet Knights were 5-4 against the spread last season
Why Temple can cover
Temple is looking for its first win since Oct. 17, 2020, but there is reason to believe the Owls are in for an uptick in overall success this season. Defensively, Temple was quietly stout against the pass a year ago, finishing in the top 50 nationally in passing success rate allowed and in the top 25 in completion rate allowed. Rutgers was also the second-worst team in the Big Ten in total offense, averaging just 339.1 total yards per game last season. Temple was the best team in the AAC at avoiding penalties a season ago, committing only 38, and linebacker William Kwenkeu returns to lead the defense alongside two-year starting safety Amir Tyler.
On the offensive side, Temple has a new quarterback in talented Georgia transfer D'Wan Mathis. He will be protected by an offensive line that gave up only 13 sacks in seven games in 2020, leading the AAC, and that unit returns four starters. Finally, Jadan Blue is the team's No. 1 weapon offensively, returning as one of the best receivers in the AAC with 41 catches for 371 yards and five touchdowns in seven games in 2020.
Why Rutgers can cover
Rutgers was clearly improved in the first year under Greg Schiano, making a dent in the Big Ten even as a rebuild was just beginning. The Scarlet Knights also return virtually all of their production on offense from 2020, and Schiano's staff has been impressive on the recruiting trail. In this matchup, however, Rutgers may also benefit from Temple's distinct shortcomings. Temple fell flat in 2020, generating only 6.0 yards per pass attempt and producing only 11 touchdown passes, besting only the option-led Navy Midshipmen in the AAC.
In addition, the Owls were dead-last in the AAC in rushing yards (140.3 per game) and rushing touchdowns (five), while averaging fewer than four yards per attempt. Rutgers has some tremendous talent returning defensively and, in short, Temple hasn't displayed the firepower to put pressure on a Power 5 opponent on the road.
How to make Rutgers vs. Temple picks
Fornelli is leaning under on the point total. He has also found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Temple vs. Rutgers? And which side of the spread hits hard? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the expert who has crushed his college football picks involving the Owls, and find out.