Week 9 College Football Best Bet & Analysis: Navy Midshipmen

Oct 24, 2013

I have been working diligently in order to provide members of Oskeim Sports with more college football betting previews and free sports picks.  I have been able to complete most of my analysis on Saturday’s college football card, and below you will find one of the games that I like from a betting standpoint.

Navy (+5.5) (-110) over Pittsburgh

I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this line as my math model actually favors Navy by two points after taking into account home field advantage, which is worth approximately four points in this game.  As my long-term members have learned by know, I love to invest on Military Academies when they are installed as underdogs as these programs represent everything that is right with our country: honor, discipline and devotion.  That fact is best illustrated by the fact that Navy is 83-52 ATS as an underdog since 1992, including 10-1-1 ATS recently as an underdog of more than two points off a loss.  My database also indicates that Navy represents a 62% ATS winning proposition as an underdog over the last 33 years.

Navy takes the field with an underrated defense that is 0.2 yards per rush play, 0.5 yards per pass attempt and 0.5 yards per play better than average in 2013.  Moreover, the Midshipmen are 2-0 SU and ATS at home where they are limiting opponents to just 8.5 points per game at 5.4 yards per pass play and 4.7 yards per play.  One of the most important statistics surrounding Navy’s defense is its yards per point allowed (15.9), which is 0.9 yards per point better than average and confirms the fact that the Midshipmen do not yield big plays.

Pittsburgh arrives in town with an offense that is 0.5 yards per play better than average (5.9 yards per play against teams that combine to allow 5.4 yards per play), but the Panthers could be without star wide receiver Devin Street, who has averaged an impressive 21.1 yards per catch this season.  If Street is unable to play (shoulder; missed last week’s game against Old Dominion), the Panthers’ one-dimensional attack becomes even worse from a passing standpoint.  Pittsburgh does not have an advantage from the line of scrimmage offensively as the Panthers are 0.5 yards per play better than average (assuming Street is healthy and plays), while the Midshipmen are 0.5 yards per play better than average defensively.

I was ready to make Navy a significantly larger investment before learning that non-rested home teams off an overtime loss are just 55-85-4 ATS.  Despite that trend, I still like Navy as my math model is weighted much more heavily than the technical analysis, and we should not lose site of the fact that the Midshipmen excel as underdogs off a loss.  Take the live home underdog and invest with confidence.