Navy Midshipmen (3-2) +4, o/u 53 at Pittsburgh Panthers (2-3), 8 pm Eastern Wednesday, ESPN
by Zman of Predictem.com
A couple of teams looking to get to bowl eligibility hook up Wednesday night when the Navy Midshipmen visit the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field.
Both teams had last weekend off in preparation for Wednesday night’s game.
Navy has won two games in a row after beating Air Force 11 days ago 31-20 as two-point home favorites.
On the other side of this match-up, Pitt has lost three straight games after getting pounded at Virginia 11 days ago 44-14 as seven-point road underdogs.
The Midshipmen are just 1-3-1 against the spread this season. They lost outright as seven-point home chalk to Ball State 34-31 three weeks ago, then had to rally from 11 down in the fourth quarter to win on a last-second FG 46-43 as 14-point home favorites over Duke.
The Panthers, 2-2 vs. the numbers this season, beat Eastern Michigan and Grambling to open this campaign, but since then have lost to Michigan State, Connecticut and the Cavaliers, averaging 14 points over those last three outings.
Navy junior QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (that’s a mouthful), who’s started 10 collegiate games in his career, has completed 53% of his passes so far this season and owns a 2/4 TD/INT ratio. But, of course, being the Middies QB means running the ball, which Enhada has done nicely, racking up 414 rushing yards and a 5.7 yards-per-carry average and scoring seven TDs.
Pitt lost starting QB Bill Stull to a thumb injury in the season opener. Since then the Panthers have had to go with a couple of youngsters at the position, and predictably, they’ve struggled. True frosh Pat Bostick will get his third career start Wednesday night; he’s hit on 62% of his throws so far this year but owns a 2/5 TD/INT ratio.
Statistically speaking, Navy is outscoring opponents this season 32-31 and outrushing foes 348-172, but is getting outgained overall 454-447.
Pittsburgh is getting outscored 22-20, but is outrushing opponents 127-111 and outgaining foes 315-268.
These two teams haven’t met since 1989.
The o/u is 3-2 in Middies games this season, which are averaging 63 points per, while the totals are 1-2 in Pitt games, which are averaging 42 points per.
The forecast for the Pittsburgh area calls for temps in the 50s Wednesday night with a chance of showers.
The Panthers opened up as four-point home chalk at most sportsbooks, with a total of 52. The spread has held steady, but the total has been bet up a point or so. And Pittsburgh is listed at around -180 on the moneyline, with Navy getting +160.
Zman’s Pick: We like Pitt laying the -4. Good luck!