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Armed Forces Bowl 2013: Odds, picks and trends for Navy vs. MTSU

The computer likes Navy to win the Army Force Bowl over Middle Tennessee, but the game odds would mean Blue Raiders bettors will turn a profit. This story was provided to SB Nation by


It's the Armed Forces Bowl, so it makes sense that an arm of the forces should be favored. The Navy Midshipmen have been opened as 6-point favorites on the Armed Forces Bowl betting menu with a total set at 56. They face a tough Middle Tennessee State team that won eight games on the season to earn this bowl berth.

Underdogs have covered the past 5 editions of this game according to the Armed Forces Bowl odds history, which is not a great trend for Navy backers. But other trends support a Navy wager (Navy is 5-1 ATS past six games in 2013 and MTSU was just 1-6 ATS past seven games away from home).

Middle Tennessee (C-USA, 8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS, 5-7 OU) only covered in one of its six road games this season with the total staying UNDER in four of those games. The Blue Raiders ended the season on a high note with five straight victories including a 48-17 pasting of UTEP as 24-point home favorites in their season finale. They went 3-2 ATS during this run and the total went OVER in three of the five games.

During their current five-game winning streak, the Blue Raiders scored early and often with an average of 42.6 points a game as opposed to a season average of just 30.9 points. They did an excellent job at moving the ball on the ground with an average of 208.3 rushing yards a game. Jordan Parker led the team with 741 yards on 145 carries, but Reggie Whatley was a close second with 631 yards while averaging 6.8 yards a run.

Navy (Independent, 8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS, 5-7 OU) takes a four-game winning streak into the bowl game including a 34-7 drubbing of rival Army in the season finale and a thrilling 58-52 triple overtime victory over San Jose State on November 22 as a 1-point underdog on the road (per closing line at

The Midshipmen have covered the spread in six of their last seven games and the total has gone OVER in four of those games. They are 4-2 ATS on the road with the total going OVER in four of the six outings.

Navy has earned a reputation over the years for moving the ball on the ground and this season was no different. Navy was ranked third in the nation in rushing yards with an average of 320.1 a game. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds only completed 63-of-114 attempts for 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns, but he proved to be a dual threat with his legs by piling up 1,124 yards and 26 scores. Navy averaged 34.4 points a game this season while giving up an average of 27.6 points on the other side of the ball.

Computer Prediction: 34-32 Navy (from Odds Shark Navy vs Middle Tenn matchup preview)

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