UCLA Bruins -5 -200 Over 46
Temple Owls +5 +165 Under 46
December 29 – 4:30pm
The December 29 Eagle Bank Bowl features the UCLA Bruins and the Temple Owls vying to become the second winners of the Bowl.
UCLA earned its berth in the Eagle Bank Bowl because Army failed lost their final game of the season long time rival Navy. The NCAA requires teams to finish with at least a 6-6 record to become bowl eligible.
The Bruins will face the Bill Cosby’s alma mater the Temple Owls. The Owl gained their first college bowl berth in 30 years on the strength of a 9-3 record (8-3 against the spread). Mr. Cosby has received a lot of laughs over the years at the expense of his beloved Owls but this year’s squad is no joke. After losing their first two games of the season to Villanova and Penn State, Temple reeled off nine straight wins.
The Bruins barely qualified for bowl season this year finishing at 6-6 (6-6 ATS). The Bruins beat the teams they should and lose to the upper tier of the Pac-10, so based on that, the Bruins should beat the Owls who don’t face the same level of competition.
I don’t want to take anything away from the Owls great season but a 9-3 record in the MAC is not on par with having to play USC, Oregon and Arizona every season.
Temple Owls is a one-dimensional team based around the run with tailback Bernard Pierce rushed for 1,300 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. Their running game pushed the Owls to score 30.3 a game while the passing attack was a non-factor ranking 112th overall.
The Owls defense is quick and that quickness allowed them to force 26 turnovers, good for 20th in the nation. They were solid against the run ranking 19th.
The Bruins found out they will be without starting center Kai Maiava and freshman wide receiver Morrell Presley who failed too many classes. Presley, who only accounted for 43 yards this season won’t be missed but Maiava was a big part of the Bruins offensive line. That will make things tougher for the already anemic UCLA offense with only scored 21.3 points a game in 2009.
On defense, the Bruins performed much better holding opponents to 21.3 points, which must account for the 6-6 record. The Bruins lead the Pac-10 in interceptions this year, as we already discussed the Owls are a run team but if they do revert to the pass the Bruins have them covered.
The Bruins record isn’t nearly impressive but they play in the best conference (if you are an SEC fan, second best) in the NCAA. The Owls play in the MAC. Both teams have strong defenses and the Bruins have an awful offense so I don’t see the predicted total of 46 points being in any danger. Temple would have to play a perfect game to have a chance against the Bruins, take the Bruins -5 and the under 46.
Eagle Bank Bowl Betting Prediction: UCLA Bruins -5 and Under 46