Temple at Navy Odds & Pick: Back the Midshipmen Against the Inexperienced Owls (Saturday, Oct. 10)

Credit:

Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamale Carothers.

  • After its entire nonconference schedule was canceled, Temple will open its season at Navy on Saturday.
  • While Navy has fallen short in terms of tackling on the defensive side of the ball, its triple option has the potential to wreak havoc on the inexperienced Temple defense.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down the game and shares a betting pick with updated odds below.

Temple at Navy Betting Odds

Temple Odds -4 [BET NOW]
Navy Odds +4 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -180/+148 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 51 [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 6 p.m. ET
TV CBS Sports Network

Odds updated Saturday afternoon and via Parx, which offers new customers a 20% profit boost + $500 risk-free wager on their first bet AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app.


After their entire nonconference schedule was canceled, the Temple Owls open up their season on the road at Navy on Saturday. The Owls couldn’t fully practice until the middle of September, so this game was moved from its original Sept. 26 date to allow the Owls ample time to practice.

Temple is looking to build off its 8-5 2019 season, with Anthony Russo back under center. The Owls have a lot of starters returning on offense but will have to endure the loss of all of their main contributors on defense from last year.

It’s been a rollercoaster of a season so far for Navy. It’s been humiliated by BYU and Air Force but managed to pull off an insane second-half comeback against Tulane in Week 2 for a 1-2 start to the season. The Midshipmen were without starting quarterback Dalen Morris against Air Force, but they’ll get him back Saturday.


Temple Owls

Offense

Russo is back for his senior season at quarterback for the Owls. His efficiency went down from his sophomore season, as he threw for only 6.8 yards per attempt in 2019. That downturn caused the Owls to rank 80th in passing success last season. The good news is Russo gets back his three main targets from last season, including Jadan Blue, who racked up over 1,000 yards receiving.

Temple never really developed a run game last year, ranking 69th in rushing success and carrying the ball for a measly 3.6 yards per rush. It returns three of its starters on the offensive line, but it will have to deal with the loss of its top lineman in Matt Hennessy, who was a third-round NFL Draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons. Without improvements on the offensive line, it’s hard to imagine the Owls will improve their run game in 2020.

Defense

Temple’s defense will have to undergo major changes in 2020. It lost its best defensive lineman Quincy Roche to a transfer, which leaves a gaping hole on its D-line. Roche led the AAC with 13 sacks in 2019, and Temple doesn’t have the talent to replace that kind of production.

The Owls also lost their three starting linebackers from last year, all of which ranked in the team’s top-three in tackling. Having inexperience in the middle of their defense is going to be a huge issue, especially since their facing the triple option on Saturday.

If Temple losing its best defensive lineman and three starting linebackers wasn’t enough, the Owls will also be without their best corner and a starting safety. However, that won’t be a big issue on Saturday, as Navy has thrown the ball only 30 times through its first three games.

Navy Midshipmen

Offense

Navy has looked like two completely different teams this season. It clearly wasn’t ready to play BYU without practice full of contact before the game. The difference in its last two games was the availability of Morris at quarterback.

Morris shined in the Midshipmen’s comeback against Tulane but was unable to play against Air Force, which caused the run-heavy Navy offense to rush for only 90 yards. The good news for Navy this year is it has all of its skill position players back on offense, including Jamale Carothers. The junior rushed for a whopping 6.6 yards per carry in 2019 and is a dangerous weapon at fullback. As the offensive line gains more experience and Morris finds a way to stay healthy, Carothers should be able to return to his 2019 form.

Defense

Navy’s defense has looked like it doesn’t know how to tackle. Ken Niumatalolo even said this week that his defense isn’t physical at all. Navy’s main issues have come against the run this year, as it’s allowing 6.4 yards per attempt.

Navy lost a couple of key players from last season, and so far, has yet to replace them, especially up front and at the linebacker position. However, both of the key starting safeties have returned for the 2020 season, so Navy should improve moving forward in the secondary after ranking 31st in defensive passing success last season.


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Betting Analysis & Pick

Temple has only been practicing for less than a month, so I think Navy’s defense will be able to figure out some of its issues on Saturday.

Getting Morris back at quarterback is going to be huge for the Midshipmen. His poise and ability to run the triple option should open up plenty of running lanes for he and Carothers.

Sure, Navy has only looked good for one half of football this year. But it’s way better than its performances against BYU and Air Force. I project Navy as -3.68 favorites at home, so I think there’s plenty of value on the Midshipmen at +3.5.

Pick: Navy +3.5 (down to +1)

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