Army-Navy Game: Trends, Betting Numbers, and History

army navy art

Jay Pryce

Friday, November 30, 2018 2:28 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 2:28 PM UTC

The annual Army-Navy game kicks off Saturday in Philadelphia (3 p.m. ET; CBS). Get your betting overview, history, and relevant trends for the storied rivalry here. 

Army-Navy Game: History

The annual Army-Navy Game, one of the most storied college football rivalries dating to 1890, is the final regular-season college football contest each year. Since 2009, the NCAA schedules the interservice matchup to follow the FBS conference championship weekend. Typically played on neutral soil in one of several Northeast cities (Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore), the clash marks the final meeting in this year's Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series, which also includes the Air Force Academy. Navy holds a slight edge over Army in the series, going 60-51-7 SU overall.

In terms of betting history, the Army-Navy series has spawned some historic upsets, including one of the biggest surprises ever. In 1950, 2-6 Navy kicked off a 21-point underdog to then-second-ranked and undefeated Army at Old Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia, played in front of President Harry Truman and an estimated 103,000 fans. The Midshipmen won 14-2, holding the Cadets to just 6-of-25 passing. A huge mismatch on paper, this spread would be much higher today with modern technology and data services. The Cadets, who sported a 28-game win streak heading into the matchup, owned a 34-7-3 series record in the 44 years prior.

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On this date in history in 1890, #NavyFootball and Army met on the gridiron for the first time. Navy traveled to West Point and beat the Cadets, 24-0. Navy leads the all-time series, 60-51-7. The two will meet against next Saturday (Dec. 8) in Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/Cjw3wsLjBO

— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) 29 de novembro de 2018
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H2H Results Last 20 Years

Since 1998, Navy has dominated the series, winning all but four of 20 meetings. Below are the results and spreads:

Army-Navy Key Betting Numbers (Since 1980)

  • Average Points Differential: 8.8 (Navy)
  • Average Line: -4.7 (Navy)
  • Favorite ATS: 19-19 ATS
  • Average Total: 51.0 (since 2006)
  • O/U Record: 0-12
  • O/U Margin: -14.9
  • Largest Underdog Upset: Army +11, 20-15 (1988)
  • Largest Spread: Navy -21.5 (2003)
  • Largest Rout: Navy -3, 58-12 (2002)
Army-Navy Game Summary, Situations, & Trends

As noted above, the "under" has hit in the last 12 straight meetings, and by healthy margins, too. A 36.0-combined score is easily coming up 14.9 point shy of a 51.0 average total. The triple-option run attack from each team sees an average 146.7 passing yards collectively.

Since 1980, the team with the higher winning percentage entering is 26-7-1 SU and 20-14 ATS (58.8 percent) in the matchup.

Oddsmakers posted Army a 6-point underdog in preseason lines. That had completely flipped at press time, with the Cadets laying 6.5 to 7 points.

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One day closer...#GoArmy#BEATnavy pic.twitter.com/IIq7OPTu3W

— Army WP Football (@ArmyWP_Football) 27 de novembro de 2018
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Army Black Knights (2018)

  • SU Record: 9-2
  • ATS Record: 7-4
  • Average Line: -4.9
  • Average Total: 51.4
  • O/U Record: 6-5

Betting Trends:
Army is a perfect 5-0 ATS kicking off with game total of 54 or higher, covering a 0.6 average line by a whopping 21.0 points per game. Going off with a lesser number, and the Cadets drop to 2-4 ATS overall.

The "under" is perfect 10-0 when Army squares off against a team attempting more than 49.0 rushes per game under head coach Jeff Monken. The average final score is 31.5 points. Navy carries the ball 57.3 times per game, fourth-most in the FBS behind Army (66.7), Georgia Tech (58.8) and Air Force (57.8). The Midshipmen have featured in four of the aforementioned contests.


Navy Midshipmen (2018)

  • SU Record: 3-9
  • ATS Record: 5-7
  • Average Line: 2.5
  • Average Total: 56.8
  • O/U Record: 6-5-1

Betting Trends:
The "under" is 5-1 when Navy faces off against a defense surrendering fewer than 27.5 points per game. The Midshipmen average 15.3 points, never scoring more than 24 in a contest. Army enters allowing 18.7 points per game.

The "under" is an astonishing 20-3 (87.0 percent) when Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo takes on either Army or Air Force.

Army-Navy Game Preview
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