Free College Football Picks: Army vs. Navy Odds and Betting Predictions
Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen, Saturday December 8, 3 p.m. ET
The world seems upside down as we head into the last college football game of the regular season. Army is always the poor cousin in this game, but they come into this one favored for the first time since 2001. They will put together their second straight 10-win season with a victory here. And always-reliable Navy sits at a dismal 3-9 this year, and one of those wins comes against Lehigh so it hardly counts. This will the first time they finish with a losing record since 2002. The good team is bad, the bad team is good, up is down, and nothing makes sense. Well, actually it's not as bad as it seems. While the perception is that Navy dominates this series, and they had a winning streak from 2002 to 2015 to prove it, Army has won the last two meetings as underdogs and is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
The good news is that it doesn't really matter how the teams stack up in this rivalry. The timing, the tradition, and the unique pageantry of this game always make a classic no matter what. And this year promises to be no different - even if it's not the matchup we are used to.
Army vs. Navy Betting Storylines
The biggest thing most people know about this Army team is that they were good enough, and their system quirky enough, to take Oklahoma to overtime. You wouldn't typically expect Army to challenge any major conference team, never mind one that is currently preparing for a playoff appearance with a likely Heisman winner at the helm. But this is a team that had the confidence and determination to play up to the level of their best opponents - the week after the shocker against Oklahoma, they absolutely destroyed a good Buffalo team, which is the only other team that was favored against Army after an opening loss to Duke. The good news, though, is that the team is actually pretty decent against lesser opponents, too - they were 4-3-1 ATS as a favorite and 3-1-1 ATS in games in which they were favored by a touchdown or more.
Navy is averaging five yards per carry on the ground, which is Top 30 nationally, but is well below what we typically see from them. And an offense that is fairly one-dimensional at the best of times is lousy through the air even by their own standards this year. Offensive woes are a big reason that the team is where they are. Army is, logically, having a much better year offensively. They don't run the ball quite as well as Navy does, but their passing game is surprisingly effective when they use it - they averaged 10.5 yards per passing attempt, which is a mark bettered only by Oklahoma and Alabama. Those two playoff teams obviously passed much more often than Army, but the effectiveness of the passing attack makes them a much more effective offense - and one that was able to score more regularly.
Defense can be summed up fairly simply. Army is generally not great, but they can have their moments - like when they gave Oklahoma more issues than anyone else did. Navy's defense is much worse and didn't have the highlights. We know that Army will be able to score. Navy could, too, but it is a little less certain.
Army vs. Navy Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened widely at the same number it is at now, but we have seen it move a half point in each direction at different points already. More than three-quarters of bets have been on the favorites, so if anything we are likely to see 7.5 appear again. The total opened as high as 42 and is now available as low as 39.5.
Navy is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 2-6 ATS in their last eight against teams with winning records. Army is 4-1 ATS in their last five neutral-site games but just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games against teams with losing records. The underdog has covered the last four spreads in this matchup.
Army vs. Navy Predictions and Picks
I don't need to over think this one. Army has the better offense, the better defense, the much better record, and they have had Navy's number in recent years. Playing as a favorite here will be a weird feeling for them, but they are up to the challenge and should finish things off on a high note. Army is the comfortable play. I'd jump on seven if it's available, but 7.5 works, too.
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