The Navy Midshipmen (2-4) host the high-flying Houston Cougars (5-1) on Saturday afternoon in an AAC West Divsion battle. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and the game will be available on the CBS Sports Network.
Taking a look at the Week 8 college football odds, Houston opened as a 10-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has changed substantially after early betting, as the Cougars are currently listed at -13. The total for the game is sitting at 60.5 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Navy vs Houston
Houston moved to 5-1 on the season last weekend after an impressive 42-20 road victory over East Carolina. It was the Cougars third consecutive victory after starting the year with a 2-1 record. They currently own the third best scoring offense in the entire country, racking up 40+ points in all six games that they’ve played so far. Houston is also the only FBS team that is currently ranked inside of the Top 20 overall in terms of both rushing and passing offense. QB D’Eriq King has done a fantastic job for the Cougars since taking over the reigns at quarterback, throwing for 1,571 yards and 20 touchdowns. King has also been a play-maker on the ground, rushing for 225 yards and eight touchdowns. The Cougars also have a three-headed monster at running back, as Mulbah Car, Terence Williams, and Patrick Carr have combined for over 750 yards and three touchdowns. As a whole, this offense is currently averaging a whopping 48.7 points per game (3rd) on 552.8 total yards (4th).
On the other side of the ball, Houston hasn’t been quite as impressive – opponents are currently averaging 28.0 points per game (78th overall) on 475.5 total yards (116th). However, they have been quite strong defending against the rush, limiting opponents to just 116.0 yards per game on the ground (20th). That will certainly come in handy this week against a very run-heavy Navy offense.
Navy dropped to 1-5 last weekend after losing their third straight game. The Mids put up a valiant effort against a solid Temple team but ultimately couldn’t find a way to pull off the victory, falling 24-17. It was an especially disappointing result considering that Navy was up 17-7 heading into the 4th quarter but were unable to hold on. Unsurprisingly, Navy is currently dead last in the entire country in passing offense, averaging only 61.7 yards per game through the air. However, that is almost entirely due to the fact that they have attempted just 60 passes compared to 356 rushes. The Mids are currently 3rd overall on the ground, racking up an average of more than 300 rushing yards per game. QB Malcolm Perry leads the way on the ground for Navy, rushing for 632 yards and six touchdowns in six games. As a whole, the Mids are currently averaging 28.0 points per game on offense (75th overall).
Things aren’t looking that great on the other side of the ball for Navy, as they are currently giving up 31.8 points per game (98th overall). They have really struggled against the run and the pass, as they are currently ranked outside of the top 70 in both categories nationwide.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Houston -13
I was very surprised when the line opened for this game at -10 earlier this week, as I thought Houston would be a much bigger favorite than that. It turns out the betting public agreed with me, as the line has moved by a full field goal and is currently sitting at -13. Still, I think the Cougars offer good value if you can get them at anything less than two touchdowns. Navy has been a disaster offensively this year and now has to face a top 20 overall run defense. I know that the Mids have played well historically at home, but I’m not sure that even that can save them here in Week 8. Houston has yet to score less than 40 points in a game this season, while Navy is one of the weaker scoring offenses in the entire country.
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Navy is also just 0-4-2 ATS over their last six games in the month of October. They are also 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall. Houston is a very solid 6-1 ATS over their last seven road games against teams with a losing record at home.
The Cougars have also won every single game this year by a minimum of 15 points. I’m fully expecting that trend to continue in this spot against a relatively week Navy defense. I don’t see how the Mids can slow down King and Co., especially considering the fact that Houston currently ranks inside of the Top 20 offensive teams both on the ground and through the air. I’ll lay the points in this spot and take the road favorite – give me the Cougars.