Navy vs. Memphis kicks off this Thursday at 7:30pm EST in Memphis as a home game for the Tigers. Memphis is currently a -14.5 favorite and -625 on the moneyline while the total is set at 47.5. Read on for more Navy vs. Memphis best bets and predictions as the Tigers should comfortably cover the spread against the Midshipmen.
Navy Vs. Memphis Prediction & Best Bet
Normally known for their explosive offense, the Tigers are comfortably winning games off the backs of their defense so far in 2023. They have been a force in the Havoc department, consistently breaking up passes and generating tackles for loss with their relentless backfield pressure.
Their ability to crash the backfield will need to rise to the occasion once again as that is the key way to stopping the Navy triple option. So far so good for the Memphis defense as they currently rank top-5 in Def Success Rate, Def PPA, Def Explosiveness, and Def Havoc. They boast talent at all three levels of the defense, being able to generate a rush with their line while sitting back in coverage.
As for how they fare in limiting the ground game, it’s top-35 in the same categories as previously mentioned. Not only do they already excel at limiting the run, but now they get the ability to cheat up as Navy has yet to show that they are passing the ball at a higher rate after saying this would be a new look triple option in the offseason.
Until Navy’s offense shows otherwise, this is the same old triple option that relies on pulling schemes and running multiple backs. With Memphis being able to send pressure in the middle and outsides, every option is covered in navy’s offense. This will create multiple early outs and lulls during their drives, giving the Tigers offense multiple opportunities to put up points in a blowout.
Speaking of the offense, it’s been a step back in Explosiveness for the Tigers as their Success Rate remains the same. Expect more of the same as Navy is average at limiting Explosiveness, yet near dead last by ranking 121st in Def Success Rate. This shows an inability to stop any consistency, especially inside the 20 where the Memphis offense thrives.
Navy Vs. Memphis Prediction & Best Bet: Memphis -14.5
Navy Vs. Memphis Betting Odds
With advantages on both sides of the ball, oddsmakers have this as the Tigers game to lose as they opened Memphis as a -12.5 favorite. That number quickly ballooned up all the way to -15.5, trickling back down to the current spread of -14.5. While I advise against non-football numbers, reputable projections have Memphis around -17 and still show value to the current number.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 48.5. Bettors believe points will come at a slightly slower pace, betting the number down to 47.5 as of writing. Navy’s offense plays a major factor to the total as their run heavy scheme drains the clock. With Memphis expected to get them off the field in a hurry, an over may be in the cards should this number trickle down some more.
Navy Vs. Memphis Key Matchups
Can the duo of Blake Watson and Sutton Smith get the ground game going for the Memphis Tigers?
Memphis Ground Game Vs. Navy Front Seven
While the pass game has continued to find success, the Tigers ground game has yet to catch up as they have dipped to 70th in Rush Success Rate. They deploy a two-man game with Blake Watson and Sutton Smith sharing duties, both combining for 246 yards and five touchdowns so far this season.
A staggering stat, yet one that may bounce back towards the mean for the Tigers offensive production as Navy’s defense has mightily struggled in limiting the run. Like their defense as a whole, Navy excels at limiting Rush Explosiveness yet routinely allows opposing backs to gain chunks at a time with a near dead last ranking in Rush Success Rate.
The Tigers ability to continue to score late in the game with a comfortable lead when they call a heavier dose of the run plays a major factor in covering a two-score spread. Especially when backing the hook of -14.5, needing added insurance in the scoring department to avoid a backdoor beat.
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