College Football Rivalry: Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen: Preview, Predictions, and Pick

Game: Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen

Date & Time: Saturday, December 14th, 2019, 3:00 (EST)

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

The Line: Navy  -10.5, O/U 40.5

TV Channel: CBS

Jason Radowitz shares his favorite bets for the highly anticipated Academy game between Army and Navy. 

CFB Season Record: 47-28 – 63%
Conference Championships: 6-3 – 67%

Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen Preview

The Navy Midshipmen (9-2) will take on the Army Black Knights in the annual rivalry showdown at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday. Army ost to Hawaii in their most recent game, 52-31, which means the Black Knights will not be bowl eligible. This will be Army’s final game of the year.

Navy, on the other hand, defeated Houston at home by the score of 56-41. With nine wins, Navy will be competing in the Liberty Bowl against Big 12 foe, Kansas State. Navy is currently ranked as the 23rd best team in the nation.

This game is unique in many different ways. Army utilizes a triple-option offense where a large percentage of plays are running plays as the clock continues to tick. Army uses a variety of quarterbacks including senior, Kelvin Hopkins Jr. He only has 570 passing yards this season and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season. It’s not every day where you see a quarterback have more rushing yards than passing yards. Hopkins Jr. leads the team with 706 rushing yards. Another senior, Connor Slomka has rushed the ball 142 times for 637 yards this season. Sandy McCoy, who rushed for 91 yards against Hawaii, is third on the team with 555 yards on the ground. The Army offense is very inconsistent this year but in the last three games, the Black Knights have scored an average of 47 points a game. The Army defense has been a strength for the 5-7 squad. Army allowed an average of 86.8 yards through the air per game. However, the Black Knights rank 51st in overall defense and allow 22.3 points per game. 

Navy is looking for their third straight win against Army after two convincing wins against SMU and Houston in November. Navy also runs a triple-option offense and run a better offense than Army does this season. Navy’s quarterback, Malcolm Perry has actually thrown the ball for 100 yards in the last two games. But don’t expect that to happen against Navy. Perry usually doesn’t attempt more than 10 throws a game. However, he has rushed for over 1,500 yards on the ground with 19 touchdowns on the year. Navy tends to use fullback type backs, something Army doesn’t. Jamale Carothers, the fullback for Navy, has rushed for 637 yards on the season. Against Houston, Carothers rushed for 188 yards. Mychal Cooper leads the team in receiving with 355 yards, but is questionable for the game against Army due to an undisclosed injury. Either way, wide receivers won’t see too much action in this game. 

Navy’s defense hasn’t played well against the pass, but Army uses the triple option, meaning that their passing defense won’t be affected. Navy is the 17th best defense against the rush. They’ll be facing the rush all day from Army. Navy went 7-1 in AAC play this season and scored 39.3 points per game, which was 10th in the country.

Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen Key Stats

  • Black Knights are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games as an underdog.
  • Midshipmen are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Under is 14-3 in Black Knights last 17 games in December.

Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen Betting Lines

  • The spread favors the Midshipmen (-10.5)
  • The Over/Under is set at 40.5
  • Navy sits at -400 on the moneyline

Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen Prediction

With a win against Army, Navy would win their 16th Commander-In-Chief Trophy after defeating Air Force in October. As with many rivalries though, these games tend to be close and decided by one or two possessions. The last seven of eight games that have been played between these two teams have been decided by seven or fewer points. Army’s offense has been moving the ball very well in their last three games and rush 311.7 yards per game, which is second in all of College Football.

Army has been competitive in their losses. Neither team has to worry about defending the passing game. During the season, Army took Michigan to double overtime, on the road. Plus, in Army’s last seven losses, they’ve lost by nine of fewer points.

Navy is really good this year. They’ve had an outstanding season closing with wins against SMU and Houston, but this game will be too close to minus any points. Give me Army and 10.5 points.

Also, Academy totals are 34-9-1 with the under. That’s 79.1% on the under when Navy, Army, or Air Force play against each other. There’s your sneaky bonus play. Take Army and the Under.

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