Army vs Navy Spread
The Navy Midshipmen (7-4) take on the Army Black Knights (2-9) Saturday at 3:00 PM ET at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Oddsmakers have listed Navy as a seven-point favorite and have set the total at 58.0.
Why Navy Covers
The Midshipmen have recovered from a slow start to win six of their last seven games. Five of these wins have come by at least seven points.
The Black Knights have struggled throughout the season because they are one of the worst defensive teams in the country. They rank 112th in scoring defense with 37.0 points allowed per game and 91st in total defense with 439.2 yards allowed per game. Eight of their nine defeats have come by at least eight points. It is also worth noting that Army is 1-5 against the spread in its last six games.
Navy has had Army’s number in recent years. It has won each of the past 10 meetings with these wins coming by an average of 23.7 points. The Midshipmen have gone 7-3 against the number in these games.
It is significant that Army enters with a winning percentage of 25.0 percent. That’s because Navy is on an 18-3 against the spread run when playing away from home versus teams that have won 25.0 percent of their games or fewer. The Midshipmen have won by an average score of 36.3 to 22.0 in this situation.
Navy is also on a 13-4 against the spread run when playing away from home versus a team that gives up 200.0 rushing yards or more per game. The Middies have won by an average score of 34.2 to 21.2 in this situation.
Navy ranks sixth in the country in rushing offense with 286.4 yards per game while Army ranks 122nd in run defense with 238.3 yards allowed per game.
Why Army Covers
The Black Knights have the potential to hang around with a lot of football teams because of their explosive running game. They lead the nation with 369.8 rushing yards per contest.
Army used its running game to play Northern Illinois (12-1), who is headed to a BCS bowl, to a one-point game. Its running attack was also instrumental in upset wins over Boston College and Air Force. The Black Knights ran for 314 yards in a 41-21 win over the Falcons. Navy defeated Air Force as well but only by seven points.
Army was whacked 63-32 by Temple in its last game, but that’s not a reason to turn your back on the Black Knights this week. After all, they are 6-0 against the spread after trailing in their previous game by 17 or more points at the half over the last three seasons. They have won by an average score of 32.8 to 18.5 in these games.
Navy has had the upper hand in the series lately but Army has narrowed the gap. The Black Knights have covered the number in two of the last three meetings and played the Midshipmen to a six-point game in last season’s matchup.
Navy is just 4-7 against the spread in all games this season. It is also on a 0-4 against the spread run versus teams that have a losing record.