‘Under’ Prevails Thursday When Navy Visits Temple

navy temple

Willie Bee

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 12:47 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 12:47 PM GMT

Boasting the nation’s top ground game, the Navy Midshipmen head to the City of Brotherly Love as the favorites for their Thursday night encounter with Temple.

NCAAF Season Record: 28-31-2 (-3.80)

Free NCAAF Pick: Under 55Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Haul up the anchor, hoist the main and prepare to set sail for a Thursday night clash in the American Athletic Conference between Navy and Temple. Our port of call is Philadelphia, where ESPN is on the bridge for the 8 PM (ET) kickoff. Bookmaker has the Midshipmen giving up 8 points to the Owls, 55 the scoreboard target.

Closing in on bowl eligibility, Navy enters the contest trailing Memphis by one game in the AAC West and hoping to halt a 2-game skid after opening the 2017 campaign with 5 straight wins. Temple has also dropped two in a row to sit 1-3 in conference play and three games back of East-leading Central Florida.

 

Abey Clears Concussion Protocol To Lead Navy Option

Both teams are coming out of their bye weeks, and the Midshipmen dropped successive games to the AAC division leaders before catching their break on the schedule. Ken Niumatalolo’s troops managed to just cover the NCAA football odds in a 30-27 setback at Memphis a little more than two weeks ago, but could only manage a push on a +10 line the next week at home vs. UCF. Junior quarterback Zach Abey had to leave the game against the Knights in the second half after a blow to the helmet, but the team’s leading rusher with nearly 1,150 yards is listed as probable for this matchup.

Geoff Collins’ crew was upset at home a couple of weeks back by UConn, the 28-24 loss coming as double-digit chalk. Temple did respond with a cover the next week at Army, though the 31-28 final still went into the loss column. Offense, or a lack thereof, has been an issue for the Owls, who rank last in the AAC in scoring (20.9 ppg) and 11th in churning out yards (372 ypg). Logan Marchi was injured in the loss to UConn, and junior Frank Nutile is expected to be under center Thursday evening for his second consecutive start.

 

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Temple’s 34-10 upset win in Annapolis last season left this series knotted at six victories apiece. The Owls were very slight road underdogs in that matchup to leave their backers 4-1 against the spread in five meetings dating to 2007. The final marked the second consecutive ‘under’ in the rivalry, that side of the total prevailing three years ago in Philly despite the two sides combining for more than 900 yards of offense.

Fans heading to Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday just need a light jacket with the thermometer expected to be in the low-to-mid 60s at boot under partly cloudy skies. Both teams have trended ‘under’ this year, and that’s the way I’m going with my free college football pick.

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