The post Malcolm Perry era begins in earnest on Labor Day night when the Navy Midshipmen welcome the BYU Cougars into Annapolis for the season opener for both squads. Kalani Sitake has taken his Cougars bowling three of the four seasons he’s coached in Provo, and looks to have another bowl worthy entrant at his disposal heading into 2020. Ken Niumatalolo possibly did his best coaching job a season ago leading the Middies to an 11-2 record and bowl game win after struggling through a 3-10 record the prior season. Even so, the betting public doesn’t expect his kids to hold serve in this matchup with BYU currently installed short 1-point favorites to come out on top Monday night; the total checks in at 53.
Watch this Week 1 matchup on Monday, September 7, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Linemakers initially lined the homebased Midshipmen as 3-point favorites with the total lined at 55. Both the side and total have been attacked by the betting public since. Navy is now a 1-point home dog at online sportsbooks with the total down two full points to 53. A whopping 70 percent of the bets taken to this point have come in support of the visiting Cougars, while the under has taken in 68 percent of the money as well. It looks like the betting markets are taking a stand with BYU returning more experience on both sides of the ball.
Not a single player on Navy is currently on the injured list. While BYU’s sheet is clean for the most part, there is one major exception that must be taken into account before throwing any amount of money on this game. Chaz Ah-You was one of the Cougars defensive standouts a season ago. In only nine games, he racked up 21 tackles and tallied one sack and interception. Most importantly, he led the team with 5.5 tackles for loss. While linebacker is the major strength of the Cougars defensive attack, the unit would sorely miss Ah-You if he was forced to miss this game due to a possible suspension; especially with the Middies looking to attack on the ground repeatedly over the game’s entirety. RB Sione Finau is also listed as questionable as he recuperates from a surgically repaired ACL, but BYU was going to use a running back committee anyway so his absence isn’t as big a deal as if Ah-You was forced to sit the game out.
Player to Watch
Perry Olsen: The sophomore has some huge shoes to fill. Malcolm Perry rushed for over 2,000 yards a season ago. As a team, the Middies went for 4,000+ yards. That means Perry was responsible for more than half of the offense’s rushing yardage. His impact on every game was arguably the main reason why the team was able to churn out 11 total wins including a gritty Liberty Bowl win over Kansas State. Navy always produces rock solid offensive lines, but it needed to be tinkered with this past offseason after three main contributors graduated. We all know Olsen won’t be able to step in and match Perry’s results immediately. That said, he best have a solid handle of running the attack. If not, there’s going to be some major growing pains early that could make it tough for the Middies to go bowling a second straight season let alone compete with a BYU squad the betting public is all over like white on rice.
Free ATS Pick
I’m usually never one to advise taking the “square” route in a game, but BYU looks to be the side to back in this matchup. The Cougars are the more veteran laden team which is huge right now with the coronavirus limiting the amount of reps teams had to work with one another this offseason. There’s more familiarity with BYU, and that should hold up in this tricky road trip to Annapolis. On top of that, the Cougars have some really nice pieces to the puzzle. TE Matt Bushman will be playing on Sundays at some point, while the defensive front-seven has numerous impact players like Khyiris Tonga, Kavika Fonua, Isaiah Kaufusi and the aforementioned Chaz Ah-You whose names you’re likely to hear all night long. While it won’t be a blowout, look for BYU to take care of business and get the best of a Navy outfit still trying to find itself on its home turf.
CFB Pick: BYU 29, Navy 16
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!