Duke, Temple Resurrect Rivalry in 2018 Independence Bowl

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D.S. Williamson

December 26th, 2018

Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Temple versus Duke was one of the top rivalries on the hardcourt. The Blue Devils and Owls battled each other plenty of times to determine who had the best college basketball squad. The history of those intense games could definitely spill onto the football field at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 27. The sport may be different, but the bad blood between these two schools has been spilled creating an under the radar rivalry for the 2018 Independence Bowl.

This season, Temple turned into one of the top teams from the surprisingly deep American Athletic Conference. After a couple of losses to start, the Owls bounced back by winning 8-of-10. Temple heads to Shreveport on fire.

Duke’s regular season exists in contrast. While Temple started out cold, the Blue Devils started out hot, winning  5-of-6 at the onset of the year. Duke then imploded, going just 2-4 SU to finish the season. The Blue Devils have the ability to stick with Temple.

Will Duke turn around their late season swoon? Or, will Temple remain hot?

2018 INDEPENDENCE BOWL FOOTBALL BETTING Temple Owls vs Duke Blue Devils Thursday, December 27th– Independence Stadium– 1:30pm ET Odds: Temple -4.5 (55)

Temple Tries for Another Win over a Power 5 Conference Squad

The Temple Owls don’t have a great history versus Power 5 Conference teams. In 2016, Penn State beat the Owls 34-27 during the season while ACC team Wake Forest beat Temple 34-26 in the Military Bowl.

Last season, Notre Dame beat Temple 49-16. But, this season the Owls beat the lone Power 5 Conference team they faced, the Maryland Terrapins, 35-14. Although Temple lost to Boston College later on during the season, the victory over Maryland jump started the Owls.

The 8-2 SU record began with the Maryland victory. Temple was close to unbeatable after that with the two losses happening to Boston College and the AAC’s top squad, the ranked UCF Knights.

Temple rides a 3-game winning streak: 59-49 over Houston, 27-17 against USF, and 57-7 at Connecticut into the Independence Bowl. They won’t be intimidated facing an ACC team on Dec. 27. All Temple must do to take control of the 2018 Independence Bowl is play like they have this entire year.

Duke Hopes For Losing Streak Reversal

The Duke Blue Devils are in a much more difficult position than Temple. Duke’s late season implosion was about as bad as it gets. The Blue Devils did beat Miami and North Carolina, but they lost to Clemson, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Wake Forest.

The Blue Devils’ coaches and fans are really disturbed about the Wake Forest loss. The Demon Deacons beat the Blue Devils 59-7 on the road. It’s hard for a team to get over such a devastating loss after a slow crawling improvement over the last few seasons. There are signs, however, that Duke can.

After losing two in a row earlier in the season, the Blue Devils reversed the streak with wins over Miami and North Carolina. Not only that, but the Wake Forest loss came on the heels of the loss Clemson.

The game also took place on Nov. 24. Duke’s had plenty of time to get over the late season swoon.

Owls vs Blue Devils Analysis and Pick

The 2018 Independence Bowl betting line’s gone from Temple -3 to Temple -4.5. Although all the early money went to Temple, the money now’s heading in the opposite direction. Most college football handicappers are taking the points. By kickoff the line should go to Temple -3.5 to -4.

The trends don’t give either team much of an edge. The Owls are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 after scoring more than 40 in their previous, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 following an SU win over more than 20 points.

Duke is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 versus a team with a winning record. The bowl game trend might be the most telling. The Blue Devils must have taken the weeks in between their final regular season game and their bowl game to get better. That makes Duke the play in this matchup, despite Temple grading out as the better side.

2018 Independence Bowl Free Pick: Duke +4.5