The Navy Midshipmen try to improve to .500 in American Athletic Conference play when they visit the Memphis Tigers for a Thursday night contest. Navy narrowly lost at home to nationally-ranked SMU last weekend, 31-24, its fourth loss in five games. Memphis is currently on a three-game losing streak after a 35-29 setback at Tulsa in its last outing. Both teams need a win to get back on track in AAC play. For those looking to bet online, we’ve got the college football odds for this one and will try to help guide you to some winning bets.
|Game: Navy Midshipmen (1-4, 1-2) at Memphis Tigers (3-3, 0-2)
Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
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This rivalry, which started in 2015, has been even, with both teams winning three of the six previous meetings. Memphis took last season’s matchup, winning 10-7 in Annapolis, Md.
Both teams are 2-1 on their home field, with Navy’s lone win in Memphis coming in 2015 in the first game of the rivalry.
Next game: vs. Cincinnati
The Midshipmen looked on their way to an upset of unbeaten SMU, leading 21-7 in the second quarter, but the Mustangs rallied and earned a 31-24 victory. Navy was held to just three points in the second half with SMU’s Jordan Kerley catching a touchdown pass with 8:19 to play for the winning points.
The Midshipmen were outgained 404-241 overall, but held the edge on the ground, racking up 177 yards to just 80 for the Mustangs. Navy also got a touchdown when Diego Fagot returned a fumble 20 yards for a score and the 21-7 lead.
Navy’s offense stalled, managing 83 yards over the final 43:45 of the contest.
The Midshipmen did win their third straight against the spread, including their second straight when being a double-digit underdog at home. Navy is 3-2 against the spread this season.
Next game: at UCF
A wild fourth quarter saw Memphis rally to within one score twice, but the Tigers were unable to complete the comeback, falling to Tulsa on the road. Twice in the final quarter, freshman quarterback Seth Henigan threw a touchdown pass to cut into a double-digit deficit, but it wasn’t enough to avoid the Tigers’ third straight loss.
Henigan finished 34-of-57 for a career-high 463 yards while also rushing for a career-best 37 yards. He had the two scoring tosses, but he also threw two interceptions.
Wide receiver Calvin Austin III had 13 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown. He matched his school record with his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game.
The Tigers also lost their third straight against the spread, failing to stay within the three-point spread. Memphis is 2-4 against the spread in 2021, including a 2-1 mark when playing at home.
Betting on the Game
Memphis should be able to put points on the board, as it is averaging 36.0 points per game while Navy is allowing 30.2 per contest. The question will be if the Tigers can slow down the running game of the Midshipmen, which accounts for 204.5 yards per game to rank 20th in college football.
This will be a contrast in offensive styles, and the Tigers can’t try to score quickly when they finally do get on the field if the Midshipmen hold the ball for long stretches of the game. Memphis has the weapons to win this one easily, but it has to avoid mistakes that could cost it the game or at least keep Navy close.
Only strong support of Navy would want to take a chance on this bet. The payoff for a straight-up win by the Midshipmen would definitely be worth it, but leaving 10½ points on the table seems a little too overconfident in a 1-4 team.
For the Tigers backers, sure it would be nice to only have to worry about winning the game straight up, but the reward isn’t worth the bet. The moneyline bet is one to avoid when you’re making your college football picks.
On the other hand, if you’re backing the Jaguars, a moneyline pick allows you to win in a close game. Again, it’s only a slight difference odds-wise from a point spread bet, but you can at least keep the three points.
Fifty-five points seem like a lot, though the Tigers do have a potent passing attack with a freshman quarterback who is only getting better. Navy is allowing 211.5 passing yards per game, so it won’t have a lot of resistance against the top passing team in the AAC. Can Navy shorten the game and limit Memphis’ possessions, though? It says here that the Midshipmen do just that, keeping this one under the total.