Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#227 North Carolina (UNC) -4.5 vs.
#228 Temple 53.5
Friday, December 27, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Scott Reichel



#227 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
#228 Temple University


This article covers a past game!

View upcoming games.

College Football Bowl Game Season continues with the Military Bowl as North Carolina travels to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to take on Temple on Friday, Dec. 27 at 3:30 P.M. This will be the first ever meeting between these two teams as they will both be looking to take home that trophy.

North Carolina Looks To Snap Bowl Game Drought

The North Carolina Tar Heels finished the regular season with a 6-6 record and a spot in a bowl game. While other programs might consider that an average season, North Carolina is thrilled with how the regular season concluded since it was expected to finish the regular season with around five wins according to oddsmakers. Now, under 68-year old coach Mack Brown, North Carolina will make its first bowl game appearance since 2016. However, the Tar Heels have not actually won a bowl game since 2013 so they will be looking to end that drought on Friday. Luckily, North Carolina has already had to deal with a ton of pressure this season as it needed to win its final two regular-season games just to qualify for a bowl game in the first place. Now, North Carolina will look to continue its winning ways in what should be a very close bowl game.

The Tar Heels are led offensively by freshman quarterback Sam Howell who has been amazing this season. He has thrown for 3,347 passing yards along with 35 passing touchdowns while only throwing seven interceptions. However, he has also been sacked 36 times so he will need to get the ball out of his hand faster moving forward.

North Carolina's defense has been pretty good so far this season. The Tar Heels are allowing 24.6 points per game which ranks 51st in the nation. In addition, the Tar Heels are allowing 381.6 yards per game which ranks 59th in the nation. North Carolina's defense has also excelled on third down as opponents have only converted 37.2% of the time which ranks 48th out of all FBS teams.

Temple Looks For Its First Win In The Military Bowl

Temple enters this game with a solid 8-4 record as it has won three of its last four games. The Owls also enter this game on a high note after defeating UConn in its last regular season game by 32 points. Temple's regular season was good enough to get it a berth in the Military Bowl where the program has struggled in the past. The Owls have already made two appearances in this bowl game and they have yet to record a victory. Now, the Owls will hope that the third time is the charm as they will be looking for their ninth win of the season on Friday. Luckily, this will be the fifth straight season that Temple has played in a bowl game so it should be quite comfortable in this environment.

Temple's offense is led by junior quarterbackAnthony Russo who has been solid this season. He has 2,733 passing yards along with 21 passing touchdowns. However, Russo has also been extremely turnover prone as he has also thrown 11 interceptions. He has also just completed 58.6% of his passes so he will need to get a bit more accurate in the future.

Temple's defense has been very solid so far this season. The Owls are allowing 23.50 points per game which ranks 42nd in the nation. In addition, the Owls are allowing 364.8 yards per game which ranks 47th in the nation. Temple's defense has also excelled at scoring points as it has recorded three defensive touchdowns which is tied for 11th in the nation.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


Anytime that a 6-6 team is favored over an 8-4 team in a bowl game, I have to lean towards the favorite. Temple has been amazing at home this season but it lost three of its five games away from home so I expect the Owls to struggle in this neutral-site game. At the same time, North Carolina has the significantly better offense in this game so I expect the Tar Heels to generate too many points for the Owls to keep this game close. I think that North Carolina will win this game by one touchdown or so. Give me the favorite.

Prediction: North Carolina -4.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Both teams are averaging over 27.3 points per game so I think that this total is too low. Both teams also enter this game after scoring over 40 points in the regular season finale so I expect both units to continue playing well in this neutral site game. Both teams like to run the ball and they have struggled stopping the run all season long so I expect some big plays in the ground game all game long which should lead to some quick points. Give me the over as a result.

Prediction: Over 53

Half-Time Side Pick

Insiders Status:


North Carolina has been an extremely competitive team all season long and I expect the Tar Heels to come out with a lot of energy in their first bowl game since 2016. North Carolina will use its offensive balance to get out to an early lead in the first half and I expect Temple's careless style of play to result in some mistakes which North Carolina should be able to capitalize on. This half will be close but I think that North Carolina will be up by at least four points after the first 30 minutes. Give me the favorite.

Prediction: North Carolina 1H

Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.