NCAA Football Betting Preview
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-2) at Army Black Knights (3-4)
Friday October 23rd, 8:00PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Rutgers -10, 38 ½
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights get to travel outside the realm of the Big East this Friday night to take on the Army Black Knights. Rutgers owns a 4-2 mark on the year which may not seem very impressive, but those 2 losses were to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh who are most likely the two best teams in the Big East. Rutgers has played well outside of those games, but it has been to inferior competition.
The Scarlet Knights get the chance to display their talent in front of the nation this week. Their challenger will be the rushing threat of Army. The Black Knights have struggled to get into the end zone this season which is a big reason they are slightly under the .500 mark, but Army did knock off a pretty impressive win against Vanderbilt a few weeks back. The Black Knights will be double digit underdogs for their home contest and they hope their running style will frustrate the Scarlet Knights defense.
As stated before, Army is a rushing team that will come at you a number of ways. Similar to the Georgia Tech offense, the Black Knights run tons of options and mis-direction type plays to get the rushing game moving. Freshman QB Trent Steelman is the commander of the ground attack. Steelman actually leads the team in rushing with 117 keepers for 405 yards this season. Steelman is averaging 3.5 yards per carry, but running back Patrick Mealy is the big play threat.
Mealy is carrying the ball for nearly 7 yards a pop and has a couple of big plays on the season resulting in 386 total yards. Fullback Kingsley Ehie has gotten a ton of carries this season as well in attempt to run over defenses. Ehie is a big back that lacks speed, but can move the pile. Ehie has touched the ball 73 times this season equaling 313 yards. These 3 impact players help make up the nation’s number 11 rushing offense and they will attack the heart of the Scarlet Knights defensive line.
The Rutgers defense is not to be taken lightly. The Scarlet Knights rush defense ranks right outside the top 10 nationally allowing just 91 yards per game. However, the defense did have trouble stopping the talented Pitt freshman Dion Lewis last week throwing up some warning signs. However, the Scarlet Knights offense should hold a sizeable edge over the Army scoring power. Rutgers holds a balanced offense approach that must be respected in both the passing game as well as on the ground. QB Tom Savage will never put up great numbers, but limits his mistakes and only has 1 interception in his first season in college football.
Savage’s main job will be getting the ball to senior wide out Tim Brown. Brown is a seasoned veteran that knows how to make plays and has earned a solid 548 receiving yards on the season with 3 scores. Brown will be a bigger key to the game than many believe. Rutgers keeps the ball on the ground behind tailback Joe Martinek who has 5 scores and averages 5 yards per carry. However, Martinek will face a tough defense up front that could make things difficult. If Brown can make some plays, it will open up the run game. If not this will be a low scoring grudge match.
Betting Trends –
Rutgers is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on the road and own a big 5-0 ATS mark in their last 5 meetings with Army. The Scarlet Knights 4 of the last 6 games have also reached the under total. Army on the other hand is just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games and just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games at home.
Pick – Army +10