There was a time when the Navy-Memphis matchups would not be decided until the final drive or two. When it comes to Thursday’s college football predictions, the host Tigers look to make it three straight double-digit point victories against the Midshipmen.
These teams couldn’t be more different offensively with Navy relying on the run-heavy option offense and Memphis having storm-armed junior quarterback Seth Henigan to air it out.
Offensive lineman Lirion Murtezi missed the previous game for Navy and he is questionable for the game.
Memphis has won the last two meetings by a combined score of 72-30 and covered against the college football picks with relative ease each time. The line did move from 15½ to 14½ before going back to 15, so keep an eye on any further line movements when it comes to Thursday’s college football predictions.
Coming into the season, Memphis (+600) was fourth in the odds to win the American Athletic Conference with Navy checking in at +3000 in the championship odds. Memphis is priced at +40000 in the odds to win the national title while Navy is priced at +100000, according to the college football odds.
Option 1: Lots of Rushing Yards
It is not a good sign when Navy has as many touchdowns through the air as on the ground, and that was the case in last year’s game as Navy’s running game was held in check.
Navy has led the American Athletic Conference in rushing offense in three of the previous four seasons. Currently, the Midshipmen are third and average just 13 more rushing yards per game than Memphis.
Navy has averaged 3.7 and 3.1 yards per rush in the last two meetings with Memphis and that is not good enough. Navy’s ability to eat up time on the clock has been a key part of the success of the Midshipmen. They would prefer to see Memphis quarterback Henigan standing on the sideline after he carved up the Navy secondary to the tune of 415 passing yards in the 2022 game.
Henigan threw for two scores and ran for another in last week’s win.
After forcing just five incompletions in a season-opening loss to Notre Dame, Navy’s pass defense looked much better last week. However, facing a Wagner team that competes at the Football Championship Subdivision level might have had something to do with that.
Although five of the last six games played by Memphis and four of the last six games for Navy finished under the total, with a total under 50, it might make more sense to roll with the over in this matchup when it comes to Thursday’s college football predictions.
Pick: Over 47½ (-110)
Memphis to Make It Five Straight vs Navy
Memphis is 1-1 against the college football picks with Navy 0-2 ATS. Navy went 7-5 against the spread in 2022 with Memphis going 7-6. Memphis split the six games when listed as the home favorite while Navy covered in all five games as the road underdog.
Navy has covered in the last six road games and is 12-4 against the spread in the 16 matchups with American Athletic Conference teams.
When it comes to the college football picks, something will have to give as Memphis has covered in five of its last six games.
The three turnovers committed by Navy ended any chances of the Midshipmen pulling off the upset in the 2022 game. There is a new coach at Navy so time will tell if that will change the Midshipmen’s luck when it comes to beating Memphis.
The last time Navy defeated Memphis was in 2018 and the last time that happened on the road was in 2015. This is a tough one to pick because Navy looked overmatched against Notre Dame. Based on how the last couple of matchups in this series have gone and the way that Memphis took control the last time out versus Arkansas State, we’d lean toward Memphis to cover as the Tigers look to make it five wins in a row against Navy.
Personally, though, we would prefer to go with Memphis to win outright because there isn’t much to be gained with the -625 odds given to the Tigers to win. It’s best to stay away from the 15-point spread because if Navy can chew up the clock when it has the ball and can avoid falling behind early, the Midshipmen might be able to hang around in Thursday’s game.
Memphis will win so it might be worth making a prop bet on Navy to score first in the game.
Navy vs Memphis Game Information
- Game: Navy (1-1) at Memphis (2-0)
- Location: Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Memphis, Tenn.
- Day/Time: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Navy vs Memphis Live Stream: ESPN