The Navy Midshipmen and Houston Cougars will square off in a Week 13 College Football odds matchup that I have aptly dubbed the ‘Underrated Bowl’. You see, the two unheralded gridiron programs are set to square off in a Week 13 matchup of once-beaten teams that have both been almost as good this season as any of their ‘bigger-named’ national championship hopeful counterparts. With that said, one of these teams will see their New Year’s Day bowl six bowl game hopes dashed with a loss in this contest while the other can always lay claim to the fact that they should have been a four-team playoff participant, even if they never get ‘real’ consideration from the College Football Playoff Committee. Now, let’s find out which one of these dreamers can bring home the bacon and keep their national championships dreams alive.
How To Bet the Midshipmen @ Cougars NCAA Football Odds & Game Info
When: Friday, November 27, 12:00 PM ET
Where: TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas
NCAAF Odds: Houston -1.5
— Felipe A. (@3Ward_AirRaider) November 24, 2015
Why Bet on the Houston Cougars (10-1 SU, 6-5 ATS)
The Cougars had their hopes for an unbeaten season derailed in their stunning 20-17 loss against Connecticut on Saturday while never coming close to covering the spread as a 7.5-point road favorite. Houston was limited to just 110 rushing yards in the loss while losing two fumbles and tossing two interceptions to lose the turnover battle 4-0 and the time of possession battle but almost 10 full minutes. “It’s a real hard pill to swallow,” Houston linebacker Steven Taylor said. “But we have other things to focus on.”
The Cougars came into the contest averaging a whopping 43.5 points per game while scoring at least 33 points in every game until meeting the Huskies. Houston trailed 10-3 at the half after racking up just four first downs and 118 yards of offense. “I think we played a lot more physical than them. We focus on block destruction,” said UConn defensive end Luke Carrezola, who had two sacks. “I think we just handled them up front.”
The Cougars are ranked a stellar ninth in scoring (41.1 ppg) and an equally impressive 23rd in points allowed (20.2 ppg).
Why Bet on the Navy Midshipmen (9-1 SU, 8-2 ATS)
The Midshipmen rolled all over Tulsa in its 44—21 Week 12 win to cover the spread as a 12.5-point road favorite as quarterback Keenan Reynolds rushed 19 times for 88 yards and one score while completing two of his three passes for 55 yards and another score. The win, combined with Houston’s upset loss to UConn, has put Navy in a position to host the American Athletic Conference championship on Dec. 5. “Today was a great win and I thought we played good,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “But we are already moving on to the next game against Houston.” “It has always been a one-game season for us, so nothing has changed,” Reynolds said. “From here on out all of our focus will be on Houston.”
The Midshipmen jumped out to a 23-7 halftime lead and never looked back after outrushing Tulsa by an insane 253-8 yards in the first half. “Those guys have scored a ton of points on a lot of good teams,” said Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo. “I thought our defense played great. We held a very high-powered offensive team down.”
The Midshipmen are ranked an encouraging 16th in scoring (38.2 ppg) and an equally impressive 19th in points allowed (18.7 ppg).
My Expert Navy @ Houston Game Analysis & Prediction:
The Houston Cougars have been very impressive this season, but I can’t shake the feeling that their Week 12 loss against mediocre UConn is a precursor to what the Cougars are about to face against a seriously underrated Navy team in this matchup. Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds may not throw the ball very much, but he’s still one of the top dual-threat signal-callers in the country. Reynolds just se the all-time mark for career rushing touchdowns (79) to break former Wisconsin back Montee Ball’s record and I believe he’s going to hurt Houston in this contest with his ability to both, run and throw the ball.
Navy’s only loss this season came against Notre Dame and I believe, statistics aside, that the Midshipmen are the better team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The Midshipmen are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after scoring 40 points or more in their previous game and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games in the month of November. Navy is also 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win and 5-1 ATS in their L/6 games against a team with a winning record.
Houston has bounced back nicely from an SU loss, going 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight-up loss, but the Cougars are also just 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games versus a team with a winning road record and 2-6 ATS in their last eight home games.
I like Navy for the road upset, though it’s really not much of an upset at all!
My Pick: Navy 28 Houston 24