While the Navy-Army game will probably never mean much in the rankings, in terms of pure college football betting pageantry you won’t find a bigger game in the country. In fact, the phrase, “more than a game” perfectly describes this annual battle between the service academies, which Navy has dominated for the last decade.
Navy Midshipmen @ Army Black Knights
Odds: Navy -7
How The Midshipmen Can Win
Navy clearly has a mental edge over the Black Knights with 10 consecutive victories in this rivalry, and their defense could be the difference in this game. The Midshipmen, who are 7-4 on the season and are going to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl to face Arizona State on December 29th, are 36th in the country in points allowed and they’re 60th in rushing defense, which means they’ll have to shore up against Army’s #1-ranked ground attack. Neither team is going to pass the ball much (Navy is sixth in rushing offense) as they both run variations of the triple-option, so stopping Army’s ground game is imperative.
How The Black Knights Can Win
The 2-9 Black Knights have scored more than 20 points just twice during their 10-game skid against Army, and since they’re 112th in the nation in points allowed, their offense is going to have to step up and put some points on the board. Only three times in 2012 have the Black Knights given up less than 30 points in a game, so depending on the defense to improve enough for this game is a big ask of Army, who have given up 31 points or more seven times in this 10-game stretch against the Midshipmen.
Outlook And Pick
The Midshipmen are obviously going to be the favorites with their 10-game winning streak over Army, and Navy has covered the spread in seven of those games. The last six meetings have come in under the posted total, so the total of 56.5 may be a bit too high for your liking.
Last year’s football betting game was actually competitive as the Midshipmen won 27-21 at FedEx Field in Landover, and the gap seemed to be closing after Navy had basically rolled over Army for six or seven years. However, the Army program has taken a step backwards this year and their offense isn’t good enough to make up for one of the worst defenses in the country. The Black Knights are 118th against the run, and that isn’t going to be a good scene against Navy’s ground game.
This game may be close for a quarter, maybe even the first half, but eventually Army’s defense will wear down and the Navy offense will start to run over them, literally and figuratively. Put another W in the column for the Midshipmen against their service-academy rivals and take them to cover the spread in a game where the outcome is secondary to appreciating what these units do for the United States off the field.
Pick: Navy -7