The college football regular season comes to an end with the most revered rivalry in college sports, the Army-Navy game. Saturday marks the 119th renewal between the service academies.
Navy enters with a 50-41-1 series advantage, winning 14 straight between 2002-15, and they’ve been favored in every previous contest this decade. But roles are reversed this year with Navy a decided underdog after dropping eight of the last nine games.
Army won the last two meetings as underdogs and favorites have been a dismal 0-4 ATS over the past four years. But it’s impossible to overlook what a rebuilding season it’s been for Navy, who lost 21 seniors from last year’s commendable 7-6 squad that dominated Virginia 49-7 in the Military Bowl, and I can’t envision a close affair.
Army (-7) will prove too strong on the ground for the Midshipmen and cover the TD-spread that the Army-Navy game is getting.
Black Knights ranked 22nd in the AP poll with a 9-2 SU record and nearly knocked off playoff-bound Oklahoma when losing 28-21 in overtime in Norman. Army 5-3 ATS in last eight games and possess a powerhouse run attack, averaging 303 rushing yards per game.
The rushing defense should prove to be a key advantage, with Army ranking an outstanding 12th versus the run this season, and Navy can’t pass effectively. Look for Army to push their rival around on both sides of the ball.
Navy has played a difficult road stretch in recent weeks, with road games at Notre Dame, Central Florida and Cincinnati, but they’ve struggled to stop anybody. Midshipmen defense a glaring 89th versus the run this season, allowing 31 rushing TDS, and opponents are averaging nearly 35 points and 438 total yards per game. Navy will be overmatched Saturday, but don’t expect this proud program to be down for long under coach Ken Niumatalolo.
Lay the points with Army!
Army-Navy Game Free Pick – Army -7.0
James Scully is a professional handicapper who hails from the great state of Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @JamesScully.