Navy Midshipmen (1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) 6 p.m. EST, September 19th, 2009, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA, TV: ESPN360
By Oracle of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Navy +8/ Pittsburgh -8
Bet this game at one of the oldest and most safe online sportsbooks in the industry: Intertops.
Normally by the third week of the season, college football teams usually show some sort of identity and know what kind of team they are. That, however, may not be the case with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
After Saturday’s showdown against Navy, a lot of those questions should be answered, as the Midshipmen will be the first real test for Pitt.
The Panthers will have the luxury of playing at home in the comforts of Heinz Field, but Navy knows what it’s like playing in a hostile environment this season. They traveled to Ohio State and nearly pulled off a major upset in week one, but fell, 31-27.
Although Navy played the Buckeyes tough, they’re a dog on the road to open up, as many online sportsbooks put the spread in favor of Pitt -8. However, that has tightened a bit already to -7 at some books.
The over/under also opened at 55.5.
Sure, Pittsburgh has opened the season 2-0, but those wins are over Youngstown State and Buffalo. So really this is their first real test of the young season. They’ve put up a total of 92 points in those wins, using a combination of run and pass to get it done.
A big part of their offense comes from running back Dion Lewis, who has the tough job of replacing first round draft pick LeSean McCoy. Lewis has done a great job so far by rushing for 319 yards – a 7.3 yard per carry average - and 4 scores.
Bill Stull returns as the starting quarterback for Pitt in his senior year. Stull threw for 2,360 yards a season ago, but had nine touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
He’s off to a solid 2009 campaign by going 32-for-46 with five touchdowns and one pick.
Again, their offensive firepower and overall statistics gleam on paper, but can they be this dominant against Navy?
After a near upset against Ohio St., Navy looked as though the hangover would take effect against Louisiana Tech, as they were down 14-0 in the first quarter. But the defense strapped up, shutting Tech down the rest of the way while the offense put the game on ice with 14 fourth quarter points. They also covered a -7 spread in that contest.
Navy runs one of the most exciting offenses around – the triple option.
With the triple options comes, well, a lot of options. Ricky Dobbs who is easily Navy's best QB in quite some time, leads the team in carries as their starting quarterback with 43. Otherwise, Alex Tiech has had 22 carries and Marcus Curry has 19 for 138 yards. Most of the time, triple option offenses don’t throw a lot, and when they do, it’s not pretty. Well, Dobbs has been legit this season, giving Navy another threat. He’s 14-for-21 for 259 yards and two scores.
This will be the third meeting the last three years for the two squads, so head-to-head match ups are important for bettors. Pitt covered on the road last year in a 42-21 win (-3 spread). However, in that game McCoy was huge, running for 156 yards and three scores. His absence will be key in this contest.
Stull didn’t have a bad game throwing for 255 yards and a touchdown, but did throw 2 picks.
An X-factor here for Pittsburgh if Navy loads the box is wideout Jonathan Baldwin. Baldwin has 114 yards so far this season. He had a big game with 101 yards and a score a year ago in the win.
Navy’s offense is predicated on the running game, so Pitt’s 17th ranked rush defense will be tested.
It’s worth noting that two years ago, Navy won a shootout, 48-45
Navy’s covered both games this year and are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall. Pitt doesn’t have any glaring trends to focus on ATS other than being 5-0 in their last five on a grass playing surface.
They tend to struggle covering as home favorites as well, as they’re 1-7 in their last 8 at Heinz Field when favored.
The over/under is a tricky play this week, but there are some trends. The over is 4-1 for Navy as road dogs in their last five. And coincidentally, the over is 4-1 when Pitt is home favorites.
If the Midshipmen beat a quality non-conference opponent from a BCS conference, look for them to grab some attention and maybe even crack the Top 25. But Pitt is looking for a little respect and a nice 3-0 start.
Oracle’s Pick: Navy has all the momentum with the way they’ve been playing. Even though Pitt is undefeated and Navy is on the road as dogs, we think the Midshipmen can play with the Panthers. Take Navy plus the 8!
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Favorite of the Week Pick - Giving points means we start the game down. We're not a real big fan of betting college football favorites as it's similar to trading field goals for touchdowns but stick with us as we buck the odds each week, selecting the favored team with the best chance of covering the spread.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2013 College Football Predictions - Badger gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his pick on who thinks will win the 2014 BCS National Championship game.
2013 Heisman Trophy Predictions - Will Johnny Football repeat? This year's list of "Heisman Hopefuls" is pretty balanced and the award is truly up for grabs. OSU Quarterback Braxton Miller is the favorite at +500 with South Carolina defensive stud JaDeveon Clowney not far behind at +700.
2014 BCS Championship Predictions - College football handicapper Jay Horne gives his picks on who he thinks will win the 2014 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship. Despite not liking to side with heavy favorites, he believes the Alabama Crimson Tide are unstoppable and has high expectations for them to cash his betting ticket at season's end!
Sportsbook - Get a free $100 bet after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
GTBets - Offers a HUGE 100% sign up bonus up to $500! Cool offer allows for you to pick 2 of your favorite college football teams and move the line a full point every time you bet those teams!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - This article is outdated and will be updated next year for the 2013 college football season.
Odds to Win the 2014 BCS Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +500 followed by Oregon at +800, Ohio St. +850, LSU/Texas A&M +1200 and Florida/FSU both at +1400. Check out your school's odds here!
Heisman Trophy Winners - A full list of college football quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who have made history on the field and won the prestigious award.
Fantasy College Football - Draft a fresh team every week! Leagues range from $2 to $420! You can play head to head or in big groups! Payouts take place approx. one hour after the final Saturday game.
The Spread - Who will cover the spread? They will! Offers scores, odds, free game predictions, current news and more!