|-10.5 MEM (-110) @ williamhill|
8* Memphis (7:30 ET): What has happened to Memphis? Since pulling off a somewhat miraculous 31-29 win against Mississippi State last month, the Tigers have lost three straight games - by a total of 12 points. They were favored in two of the losses - home vs. UTSA and at Temple. Both of those games saw them blow 17+ point leads. Last week in Tulsa, the Tigers outgained their opponents by nearly 200 yards, but that was wiped away by a -3 turnover differential and they lost on the scoreboard 35-29 as a 3.5-point underdog. Needless to say, they are glad to be back at the Liberty Bowl where they’ve won 17 of 18.
Save for a shocking 34-30 upset over UCF, who was starting a backup QB, Navy has mostly been a sinking ship in 2021. The Middies are 1-4 SU and coming off a tough 31-24 loss to unbeaten SMU. While they led by as many as two touchdowns in the 2Q, Navy was outgained in the game 404-241. This offense has simply not been clicking the way it used to as the Midshipmen are averaging only 3.7 yards per carry and 282.6 total yards per game. This will be just the second time Ken Niumatalolo’s team has had to “set sail” from Annapolis this season. I don’t like the spot for them.
Had they not rallied with 17 4Q points against UCF, then Navy would be 0-5. Memphis’ one loss at Liberty Bowl in the last 18 tries came the last time they were here, against UTSA, whom they led 21-0 early. I certainly can’t see the Tigers dropping B2B home games and will lay the points here as they’ve outgained their L3 opponents despite being 0-3 SU/ATS! The problem is they were -7 in TO’s in those three games. They gained over 600 yards of total offense last week. Navy is 3-0 ATS its L3 games, but they’ve been a dog of 13 or more points every time. Pardon another pun, but the Midshipmen are lacking in the necessary “firepower” here. 8* Memphis
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