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Navy Midshipmen vs. Temple Owls Point Spread - Pick

Navy Midshipmen (5-2 SU, 3-2-2 ATS) vs. Temple Owls (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 8PM EDT
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NAVY -8.5/TEM +8.5
Over/Under Total: 58

On Thursday, the Navy Midshipmen come to Lincoln Financial Field in Philly for a week 10 AAC matchup with the Temple Owls. Both teams are coming off the bye-week. Navy supporters are hoping they put the extra time to good use after losing two straight games following a 5-0 start. But some big things can still be accomplished if Navy were to right the ship. In their last game, they lost 31-21 to Central Florida. Temple, meanwhile, has dropped 4 of their last five, including a 31-28 overtime loss to Army in their last game. A lot has changed since Temple beat Navy on their field, 34-10, last season. Who can notch the conference win this week?

Navy was cruising along pretty well with a 5-0 start to the season. Against two of the better teams in the conference, however, they have fallen flat. They lost to Memphis by 3, before losing by ten to unbeaten Central Florida. The extra time leading up to this game should help QB Zach Abey, who is coming off a head injury. Turnovers have been a real issue for the last two games for the Midshipmen, really undermining their opportunity to rise to the ranks of the conference elite. Again, a lot is still on the table for this team and it starts with a road conference task on Thursday.

To say Navy's offense is run-heavy would be an understatement. They lead the nation in rushing, putting up a robust average of 376.1 yards per game on the ground. They are also 128th out of 130 teams in passing offense. The quarterback is a big part of the run equation, with Abey putting up 1142 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing. Malcolm Perry and Chris High (questionable) are also big contributors. Aerially, Tyler Carmona and Michael Perry get most of the targets, but their contributions are spotty. But point-outputs that were in the forties have dipped considerably as they started facing the real AAC heavyweights like Memphis and UCF.

Even as Navy was getting the better of teams en route to a 5-0 record, the defense wasn't terribly good. Against better offenses, that has come more into view. They're not very good in any particular area, exploitable through the air and on the ground. Making it worse is that this group hasn't really developed a knack for making the kind of big plays that can make up for their general leakiness. They have picked off a paltry three passes on the season. And when it comes to the pass-rush, it's just not there a lot of the time. It leaves the impression that the defense is just there taking up space a lot of the time. They play hard and get after it, but it's a unit that has become more of a liability over the course of the season.

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Temple's issues run even deeper. Four out of five losses with the only win over a woeful East Carolina team is a tough pill to swallow for a team that won ten games last season. Some level of regression was expected, but things are quickly sliding away from the Owls this season. They were pretty good in their last game, taking a favored Army team to overtime and if not for some poor placekicking, they would have won. Banged-up, QB Logan Marchi (questionable) didn't play and could be a go for this game. Based on how they looked, they are still trying hard despite their rotten form and should be expected to be respectable in this spot at home.

Having Marchi back at QB would be big for Temple, though fill-in Frank Nutile was very effective in relief. You wonder if they might flirt with going with Nutile at some point. Marchi has enjoyed some moments of being very prolific, though interceptions have become too much a part of his profile lately. Ryquell Armstead and David Hood have been responsible for most of the ground production and have been underwhelming. The aerial attack has a little more vitality and decent variety with Isaiah Wright, Adonis Jennings, Keith Kirkwood, and Ventell Bryant leading the way. Making matchup problems for some teams is the fact that the Temple receivers are pretty big guys. Hood is also adept catching short passes.

Temple's defense has been up and down this season, resilient in some games and pretty inept in others. They weren't that clutch in their last game, giving up an Army TD with a second left and later losing in overtime. Still, they've been decent late in most games, with the other side of the ball more-responsible for a lack of late-game production. They have gotten good play in the secondary with Delvon Randall. Up-front, Jacob Martin has been getting after quarterbacks this season, with running-mate Quincy Roche also applying pressure. But at the end of the day, they haven't been that stout against the run so far this season and that could manifest badly this week.

Temple has lost their last two at home—both against conference opponents. Navy looks headed in the wrong direction, but that was against the best pair of teams in the conference and Temple is a far cry from that this season. The Owls are still somewhat-dangerous, a little more capable of making plays on defense with an aerial offense that can get rolling in the right spots. Against a Navy defense that seems to be struggling to find answers, this week could be one of those spots.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Temple Owls plus 8.5 points.Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Midshipmen vs. Owls game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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