Navy Midshipmen at Memphis Tigers Expert Picks with Odds and Betting Predictions
Navy Midshipmen at Memphis Tigers, Saturday Oct. 14, 3:45 p.m. ET
I don't typically preview a lot of AAC conference games. But then it's not too often that we get a game as exciting as this one has the potential to be - in this or any conference. We have the perfect recipe here for fireworks. Both teams have offenses that have the ability to be scary good. Each has a defense that is both underwhelming and not very well matched up with their opposition. Navy, which is undefeated, is coming off a win in which they scored 48 points. Memphis scored more than that in the first three quarters of their last game and wound up with a jaw-dropping 70 points against UConn. This one is going to be a whole lot of fun.
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Navy at Memphis Betting Storylines
Navy is ranked 24th, so they come into this one with more respect - which makes sense given that they haven't lost and Memphis has dropped one. The giant asterisk here, though, is that Navy really hasn't played anyone. The only winning team they have beaten is 3-2 Tulane. The Green Wave might have a winning record, but they aren't good. Navy is coming off a big moral victory over bitter rival Air Force, but it really doesn't prove anything - the Falcons have lost four in a row and are in a desperate hunt for an identity this year. I'm not suggesting that this is a bad team by any means. It's just that we don't yet know how good they are. This is by far the biggest test the Midshipmen have faced this season.
The Midshipmen are as lopsided and one-dimensional as an offense can be. They are the No. 1 rushing offense in the league, averaging a ridiculous 414 yards per game. And they rank 128th in the country in passing, with well under 100 yards per game. This is a team for which passing is an afterthought. Memphis has a very porous defense, allowing more than five touchdowns per game. Their run defense is the relative bright spot, but they still allow 187.2 yards per game, which is 94th in the country. Navy's offense is going to be just fine.
Riley Ferguson, the Memphis QB, is having a heck of a year and would be getting a whole lot more attention if he played somewhere else. Last time out he threw seven touchdowns in just three quarters, tying the conference record set by former Memphis starter and current Denver backup Paxton Lynch. Ferguson has had one rough outing this year - he threw three picks against a pretty good UCF team as the team suffered their only loss. Central Florida plays solid defense, though, and the same can't be said about Navy. The Midshipmen rank 78th in points allowed and 71st in passing yards allowed. And that is against offenses that can't hold a candle to what this Memphis squad is capable of. The Tigers shook off whatever happened against UCF in the UConn game last week, so they will be bold and confident. Again, we can be pretty confident that Memphis is going to be just fine on offense.
I don't typically worry too much about the weather for games. But when a shootout is a possibility, I want to make sure that the weather conditions are close to ideal. And they will be here. The current forecast for Saturday afternoon in Memphis is for hot and sunny. Perfect conditions to run and pass in. Yet again, there is no real reason to doubt these offenses.
Navy at Memphis Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Memphis favored by four points, and it is still available at that price . A small majority of bets are on Navy, but action is mostly balanced, so we shouldn't see massive movement without a major news break. The total opened at 75.
The Midshipmen are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss and 5-1 ATS in their last six road games. They are a solid 14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 conference games but just 2-5 ATS in their last seven against teams with winning records. Memphis is 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 against teams with winning records. They are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games in October.
Navy at Memphis Predictions and Picks
I really don't have a sense of who is going to win the game. If a gun was to my head I would take Memphis, but I am not hugely confident about that. There is a good play here, though. The total of 75 is high but not high enough. These teams have scored a combined 79.6 points per game this year. They are going to be playing in ideal conditions, and against defenses that won't be much more than turnstiles. The total isn't high enough, and the over is the play - and would be even if the total climbed to 80.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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