The No. 24 Navy Midshipmen (-9) are heading southwest to battle their AAC rival Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium. ESPN2 is scheduled to televise the action and the game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Betting Preview: Houston Cougars vs. Navy Midshipmen
Houston is entering this AAC game as a significant underdog and is currently getting 9 points. The Midshipmen are also receiving -360 moneyline odds while the Cougars are +280. If one team finds paydirt early it’ll create a solid live betting opportunity. Vegas has determined the over/under (O/U) to be 59.5 points.
Early action has leaned in favor of the Midshipmen, as the opening line was 7. The over/under hasn’t moved after it was initially set at 59.5.
The surprising Midshipmen have gained 4.3 units so far and are 7-3 against the spread (ATS). The team has posted an O/U record of 6-4.
The Cougars have lost 0.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 6-5 ATS and have an O/U record of 4-6-1.
The Midshipmen have gone 8-2 straight up (SU), including 6-1 SU against AAC opponents. The Cougars are 4-7 SU overall and 2-5 SU in conference play.
The Midshipmen just notched a 35-28 win over SMU last week. Malcolm Perry completed nine-of-15 passes for only 162 yards and one touchdown. Perry (195 yards on 38 rush attempts, two TDs) also spearheaded the ground attack. Ryan Mitchell (three receptions, 48 yards, one TD) and Mychal Cooper (three catches, 41 yards) handled the receiving duties in the win.
The Houston Cougars just earned a 24-14 win over Tulsa. The team’s defensive secondary allowed the Golden Hurricane to air it out for 381 yards. Keylon Stokes was a bright spot in the loss for Tulsa, accounting for 144 yards on nine catches. For Houston, Clayton Tune completed eight-of-12 passes for 89 yards. Kyle Porter (57 rushing yards on 14 attempts) and the signal-caller Tune (52 yards on 14 carries, one TD) spearheaded the running attack while Porter (three receptions, 34 yards) and Marquez Stevenson (three catches, 19 yards) led the pass-catching corps in the win.
Navy has run the ball on 87.1 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Houston has a rush percentage of 61 percent. The Midshipmen have run for 352.2 yards/game (including 371.3 per game versus American Athletic Conference opponents) and have 40 scores on the ground this year. The Cougars are totaling 193.1 rush yards per game (167.6 in conference) and have 19 total rushing TDs.
It appears that the Midshipmen ought to hold an advantage in all aspects of the ground game, as their running backs has logged 5.8 yards per carry while the defense is allowing a YPC of 3.3 to opponents. The Cougars have ran for 4.9 yards per carry and allowed 4.8 YPC to opponents.
The Midshipmen offense has averaged 103.2 yards through the air overall (98.3 per game against conference opposition) and has eight passing TDs so far. The Cougars have produced 186.1 pass yards per game (212 against AAC foes) and have 15 total pass scores.
On the defensive side of the ball, Navy seems to have the upper hand in both phases. The team has allowed 107.3 rush yards and 216.6 pass yards per game. The Houston defense has given up 304.9 yards per game to opposing passers and 157.0 yards per game on the ground. The Midshipmen are giving up an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 6.45 to opposing QBs, while the Cougars have allowed an 8.14 ANY/A.
Offensively, Perry is up to 884 passing yards this year. He’s completed 38-of-68 attempts with six scores through the air and three interceptions. Perry’s got a 10.66 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 7.11 over the past two games.
Clayton Tune has managed to complete 69-of-122 passes for 983 yards, six TDs and five INTs for Houston. His ANY/A stands at 5.63 for the year and 6.39 across his past two games.
When these two schools met a year ago, Houston emerged victorious by a score of 49-36.
Navy Midshipmen at Houston Cougars Free Pick
SU Winner: Navy, ATS Winner: Navy, O/U: Under
Team Betting Trends
- The O/U for Navy’s last game was set at 70.5. The under cashed in the team’s 35-28 win over SMU.
- Navy, as a team, has produced 5.7 yards per carry across its last three contests and 4.8 over its last two.
- Houston has averaged 3.9 yards per carry over its last three games and only 3.2 over its last two.
- Houston has lost eight fumbles this season while Navy has lost 12.
- Over its last three matches, Navy is 2-1 ATS and the over cashed in two of those three.
- Navy has won seven of its last eight games SU, with a 32-point loss to Notre Dame on November 16th representing the only slip-up over that span.
- The O/U for Houston’s last match was set at 57.5. The under cashed in the 24-14 victory over Tulsa.
- Over its last three matches, Houston is 2-1 ATS and the under cashed in two of those three.
- The Midshipmen offense has registered six pass plays of 40 or more yards, while the Cougars have accounted for nine such plays.
- The Navy defense has allowed 10 pass plays of 40+ yards, while Houston has given up 14 such plays.
- The Navy offense has created 36 rushing plays of 20+ yards, while Houston has created 22 such runs.
- The Midshipmen defense has allowed nine rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while the Cougars have given up 21 such runs.
- The Navy D has 24 sacks on the year while Houston has 19.