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Navy vs. Rutgers Football Pick with Betting Line Analysis

10/15/11

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights continue to get it done! 4-1 on the year, 1st in the Big East and all this while ranking near dead last rushing the football, #115 at an average of 80 yards per game. They're getting it done with defense, giving up just 15 points per game, good for 11th overall, and they are the top dog when it comes to turnover margin at +14.

But is Rutgers really this good? Last week they started a freshman QB, his first start, and still came away with a blowout win over Pitt. Up to the Pitt game, we would have said, no, Rutgers isn't really that good. Heck, they beat North Carolina Central (who??), Ohio and Syracuse. They beat Ohio 38-26. Ohio is bad folks. They were damn lucky to get the win over Syracuse, 19-16, and they lost their biggest step up in class, prior to Pitt, to North Carolina, albeit in a close game.

This week Rutgers hosts Navy and oddsmakers opened up Rutgers as a -3.5 favorite. Bettors quickly started pushing money through the windows on the Scarlet Knights moving the line to -4, even -4.5 in spots. In fact 83% of the bets taken at the time of this article, have been on Rutgers. So, apparently, bettors think Rutgers is for real.

Navy is at the top of the charts in rushing of course, along with the other option teams. But logic would tell you that a team that ranks near dead last in rushing, has just about no chance against a team that out rushes them at a rate of 4/1. But the equalizer here may be that Navy has their own problems when it comes to stopping the run, as they routinely give up 200+ yards per game on the ground. Even Delaware had 220 rushing yards against them.

Sometimes, as a handicapper, you just get a feeling about a team, or game. A feeling that suggests that perhaps the bubble is about to burst. You have to listen to your gut at times. But, if not for that "feeling", we'd be playing Rutgers here, likely as a Key Release. Everything we look for that helps put us over the edge when making a selection, favors Rutgers. Very Nice yards per point edge, Huge turnover ratio edge, and our model actually has this game as not even close, predicting Rutgers to win by a score of 40-16!

Our feeling that the bubble could burst comes from looking at Navy losing by 3 to South Carolina and by 1 to Air Force. You guys think South Carolina and Air Force are as good as Rutgers? We do. We look forward to seeing how this game plays out. Let's see if the numbers we like to look at are correct, or if our sinking feeling is correct.

If we're going to put out a prediction here based strictly on the numbers, the play is Rutgers -4

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