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How and what to watch for Houston vs. Navy

After an early season beset by cancellations and postponements, the Houston Cougars will play for the third time in three weeks Saturday when they take on the struggling Navy Midshipmen.

Clayton Tune of the Houston Cougars runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Navy Midshipmen on November 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In less than two seasons, head coach Dana Holgorsen has overseen significant changes in the Houston program, not all of them positive. Second-team All-AAC quarterback D’Eriq King transferred out before the season to join Miami, leaving Clayton Tune as the unquestioned starter under center. Tune comes off an up-and-down 2019 campaign in which he tossed 11 touchdowns against nine interceptions, hardly numbers associated with the Air Raid offense. However, his two outings thus far in 2020 look considerably better, averaging a yard more in adjusted yards per attempt (9.7 versus 8.6) and completing significantly more of his passes (64.1 versus 59.2).

But the story of Houston’s season has centered on decidedly non-football developments. The Cougars have already canceled or postponed five games due to issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of a consistent schedule has affected all programs, but arguably none more than Houston.

Navy meanwhile has endured a strange year in its own right. While a triple-option team would presumably benefit from the lack of tackling and on-field work of their opponents, the Midshipmen struggled out of the gate, scoring just three points in a blowout loss to BYU and suffering a similarly one-sided defeat at the hands of Air Force two games later. Navy’s three wins have each come by four points or less, adding to the concerns about the state of the program. It doesn’t help that quarterback Dalen Morris could miss Saturday’s game with a concussion.

Houston leads the all-time series against Navy 4-2 with the Cougars winning the most recent matchup 49-36 in 2018.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch Houston vs. Navy Saturday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, and you can stream it via CBSSports.com or with a cable or streaming login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Houston (-15.5) vs. Navy
Point Total: Over/Under 55
Money line: Houston (-715), Navy (+480)

  • Houston has gone .500 against the spread this year
  • However, the Cougars have hit the over both times they’ve played in 2020
  • Navy, which has played in far more games, has a 3-2 record against the spread
  • The Midshipmen also hit the over in three of their five games this season

The Best Bet

Houston might have some rust to knock off, but the Cougars have most of their key players available while the Midshipmen could take the field without their starting quarterback. Even if they do, their track record in 2020 suggests they’ll have trouble scoring enough to cover.

Pick: Houston (-15.5)

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