Betting Predictions For Navy Vs. UCF (11/19/22)

After a shocking thriller against Notre Dame where we saw Navy claw their way back for the cover in a three-point loss, they now find themselves in a familiar situation against UCF this week as a sizable underdog. Can they get the job done this time around? Let’s find out.

Navy Vs. UCF Odds

Navy comes into this one as a two-score underdog, opening at +17 and are now +16 as of writing. Their success will depend on their ability to slow down the UCF offense as for a navy ticket to cover and cash at the window requires maximizing their own amount of possessions as they are limited with how much time they bleed off the clock.

As for the total, the number has been pretty firm on the opener of 52.5 while taking some slight upticks to 53. While I personally avoid them due to unpredictability and limited time of possession on opposing ends, the under has some intrigue due to Navy’s defensive advantages.

Navy Vs. UCF Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Navy Live +17

While I am disappointed in myself in missing out on Navy +17 that was widely available as numbers opened, I have them circled for a live spot that has a great chance of appearing soon after kickoff. I would not take them lower than +17 as power ratings have them around +16.

This makes for a great situational spot as UCF comes off of a huge win against ranked Tulane and has another big one on deck in their rivalry against USF. While Navy does not have anything to play for post regular season wise, you can expect a military academy to always come in motivated and prepared.

In order for them to cover, they will need to get UCF off the field and capitalize on clock draining possessions. The UCF identity has shifted a little this year in comparison to years past, settling more for the run which is exactly what Navy will be hoping for. Compensating for a horrific secondary, Navy actually excels in stopping the run as they are top 10 in Def Line Yards and Stuff Rate.

On offense, you can expect the same dose of the triple option to attack the Knights. While UCF is an average defensive unit, they struggle with explosiveness which means Navy can find some success should the linebacking unit be caught in a lull when coming down to cover all three options.

Navy Vs. UCF Key Matchups

Can Navy find continued offensive success behind third string quarterback Massai Maynor? How will Navy limit John Rhys Plumlee?

Massai Maynor vs UCF’s linebackers

While it’s never easy to succeed with a backup quarterback, Navy’s offense actually becomes a little more intriguing as Massai brings a new dynamic to the offense in comparison to his fellow peers.

The triple option will still be the main catalyst, but with Massai under center he now brings a more lethal passing presence as he has the best arm in the quarterback room. While I would be surprised if Navy opens the playbook for him in his first start, it wouldn’t surprise me if he found success in the air should they call a pass play.

UCF is nothing special on defense, an average unit as a whole at best. While it’s a burden enough to prepare for defending the triple option, they now need to prepare for a pass game where they rank 78th in Def Pass Success. 

John Rhys Plumlee vs Navy’s defense

While Navy is one of the best run stuffing units in football, their secondary is a whole different story. This back end is bad, very bad. This unit ranks 120th or worse in Def Pass Success Rate, Explosiveness, and PPA and are in for a long night against John Rhys Plumlee.

As most opposing quarterbacks have done this season, Plumlee is in a prime spot to let the ball fly against this Navy defense. 

Throwing for 2,015 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions, Plumlee is more than capable of attacking their weak secondary with a spread-out approach. Not having any true stars out wide, UCF has burned opposing defenses with a committee approach led by Ryan O’Keefe.

Verdict

Take Navy on the live line of +17 or higher in a situation where academy teams cover at 65.1% of the time as double-digit underdogs.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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