Navy Will Sail To ATS Victory In Annual Battle Against Rival Army

army navy

Rainman M.

Friday, November 30, 2018 1:12 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 1:12 PM UTC

Get the latest college football picks on the Army-Navy game. The matchup from Philadelphia is on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on CBS. Bet confidently with tips from SBRpicks.com. 

Army (9-2 SU, 6-4-1 ATS) vs. Navy (3-9 SU, 5-7 ATS)Saturday, 3 p.m. ET (CBS)Lincoln Financial Field, PhiladelphiaFree NCAAF Picks: Midshipmen ATS & UnderBest Lines Offered: BetOnline

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In the Army-Navy game, pride and honor are at stake. It’s a classic rivalry that two of America’s oldest military branches participate in annually. Both teams employ a run-first style of offense that relies on their players' toughness and physicality and their discipline in executing assignments and upholding fundamentals. The Army-Navy game is unique because every player will give his all in order to prove that his respective service academy is superior on the football field.

How They Got Here

The tide looks to be turning between Army and Navy in multiple regards. Army is enjoying its third consecutive winning season. Its most impressive win came against MAC Championship contender Buffalo, 42-13. Conversely, Navy had its first losing season since 2011 and finished second-to-last in the AAC West with a 2-6 conference record.

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Stay Strong #NavyFootball pic.twitter.com/TYaAPOMIrz

— Navy Football (@NavyFB) November 15, 2018
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Why Navy Can Win/Cover

Navy is the underdog, and the underdog has covered seven of the last 10 Army-Navy games. Each team loves to possess the ball by churning out first downs with its run-first triple option attack. Army ranks first, possessing the ball for nearly 40 minutes per game. Navy ranks eighth in the category with 33:40 time of possession per game. There will be few drives in this game, meaning that the favorite has to be unusually efficient in order to cover the spread. Even though the Midshipmen are having a down season, they thrive when the odds are against them, with four of their five covers this year coming as underdogs.

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Toughness.#BEATnavy#BlackFlagMentality pic.twitter.com/ZQ3gDgEF5L

— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) November 29, 2018
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Why Army Can Win/Cover

Even though last year’s leading rusher and winning quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw departed, Army is deep and talented at running back. It returned all seven from last season. Darnell Woolfolk leads the team with 823 rushing yards. He’s one of six players — including quarterback Kelvin Hopkins — who averages more than four YPC. Army’s offensive line, called the Malicious Offensive Line Brotherhood, ranks top-five in both power success rate and stuff rate, meaning that Army excels in short-yardage situations and very rarely gets stuffed at or behind the line of scrimmage. The Black Knights are averaging 31 points per game and Navy is 2-6 ATS when allowing at least 30 points.

Conversely, Navy’s offense is down this year. It’s averaging almost a touchdown less per game. It looks like Army can shove around its defensive line, which ranks outside the top 90 in opposing power success and stuff rate.

Common Opponent/Series History

Neither team had a common opponent, but they did play elite teams. Army covered against Oklahoma and actually took OU into overtime. Navy covered against Notre Dame and UCF, more than halving the spread against UCF. In Army and Navy’s recent history, Navy had won 14 in a row before Army won the last two. Army has also covered the last four in the series.

Final Verdict

Navy looks like a bad pick, but for misleading reasons. For most of the season, the Midshipmen struggled to find a consistent answer at quarterback. Zach Abey and Malcolm Perry are built rather differently, meaning that Navy tends to call different plays depending on who’s quarterback. This lack of consistency confused the rest of the offense, which missed too many blocks and committed too many penalties. But, Abey has settled in at quarterback while the speedy Perry is back at his natural position of slotback. Although Army is deep, it doesn’t have anyone like Perry, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards, averaging 6.2 YPC. Navy covered its last three games by rushing for close to 400 yards each time until its last game, when it covered thanks to Abey’s passing. Navy’s record is misleading because it is not the same team now as it was earlier in the season.

The Midshipmen’s team stats look worrisome. But, their strength of schedule was 34th in difficulty, while Army’s was 93rd. In Navy’s two games against prolific opponents, it limited Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams and UCF’s group of running backs below their season average in YPC. In Navy’s last three games, it held its opponent well below its season average in YPC. Its overall defense ranks much lower than Army’s because of its poor pass defense, but Army rarely passes. Despite Navy’s early season struggles, both teams hardly differ in adjusted run defense.

The "under" is a perfect 10-0 in these teams' last 10 meetings. In a hard-fought and possession-heavy game, expect another low-scoring underdog cover for your NCAAF picks.

Army-Navy Series History And Betting Trends
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