UNC vs. Temple Prediction: How to Bet the Military Bowl

Ventell Bryant

Getty Ventell Bryant

The UNC Tarheels are 5.5-point favorites over the Temple Owls in Friday’s Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.

North Carolina (6-6) is playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2016 under the guidance of first-year head coach Mack Brown, who previously led the program to six-straight bowl appearances in the ‘90s. The 2019 Tarheels feature an aerial attack ranked 25th in the FBS with 285 passing yards per game. Quarterback Sam Howell threw 35 touchdown passes with just seven interceptions but completed just over 60 percent of his throws. Linebacker Chazz Surratt headlines the defense. Surratt is ranked 26th in the nation with 110 tackles this season.

Temple (8-4) is playing in a bowl game for the 5th straight year as first-year head coach Rod Carey continues a strong postseason tradition in Philadelphia. The Owls feature a balanced attack on offense triggered by quarterback Anthony Russo, who threw for 2,733 yards this season with 21 touchdowns. Temple has a dynamic playmaker on the outside in Jadan Blue, who is tied for 7th in the nation with 87 receptions this season. The Owls rank 42nd in scoring defense allowing 23.5 points per game. Defensive end Quincy Roche is 6th in the country with 13 sacks this season.

ESPN’s FPI gives UNC a 70.2% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Friday’s Military Bowl between the Tarheels and Owls. 

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UNC vs. Temple Game Details

Date: Friday, December 27
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Maryland)
UNC -5.5
Total: 53

*All lines and odds courtesy of SportsMemo, Covers, & The Action Network

Line Movement

This line opened at UNC -6 and has been bet down slightly to UNC -5.5 with the majority of the action coming in on the Tarheels. This indicates a slight reverse line move favoring Temple.

Betting Trends

  • UNC is 6-6 SU and 7-5 ATS this season
  • Temple is 8-4 SU and 8-4 ATS this season
  • Over is 6-6 in UNC games this season
  • Over is 6-6 in Temple games this season

Analysis & Pick

Temple is no stranger to Annapolis. This will be their third Military Bowl appearance since 2009, having lost their two prior appearances in 2009 and 2016. First-year Owls head coach Rod Carey has also struggled in the postseason going 0-6 in bowl games during his seven-year tenure at Northern Illinois. Mack Brown is also very familiar with the postseason and will be coaching in his 22nd career bowl game. Brown is 13-8 all-time in the postseason, including a 3-2 record during his 11 previous years coaching at UNC from 1988-1997. Brown’s reunion in Chapel Hill has certainly lit a spark under the Tarheels program this season, who are making their first bowl appearance in four seasons. That being said, I think Temple is perfectly positioned to get Carey his first bowl victory as the Owls are not only the tougher team in the trenches but have the capable playmakers on the outside to keep up with an ACC opponent. UNC and Brown have been a nice story this year, but Temple wins outright as the underdog here.

PICK: Temple +5.5

READ NEXTLouisiana Tech vs. Miami Prediction: Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Pick

Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith

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