This Saturday the 2019 regular-season will officially come to an end as the Army Black Knights take on the Navy Midshipmen in one of the best traditions in college football. This classic rivalry between two of our military academies is set for 3:00 EST at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and will be televised nationally on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened up the line at Navy -9.5, but early money on the Midshipmen has it up to -10.5 at most books. The total opened at 43 and has been bet down as low as 40.5 with a few books still at 41.
Army vs Navy Game Preview & Betting Odds
Army Black Knights (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS)
It wasn’t that long ago a 5-7 record would have been considered a positive for the Black Knights. From 1997 to 2015, Army only had one winning record and won just 5 or more games twice. However, there is nothing but disappointment when it comes to the Black Knights record in 2019.
That’s because Army had gone 29-10 over their previous 3 seasons, including back-to-back double-digit win seasons in 2017 and 2018. Things started out okay with the Black Knights going 3-1 in their first 4 with their only loss a 21-24 2OT defeat at Michigan. Army went just 2-6 the rest of the way with their only wins coming against VMI and UMass.
Navy Midshipmen (9-2 SU, 8-3 ATS)
While Army failed to live up to the hype, Navy quietly had one of the bigger turnarounds in the country. The Midshipmen saw their streak of five straight winning seasons come to an end in 2018, as they went just 3-10. This year Navy has already won 9 games and will have this game along with their bowl game against K-State to get into double-digits.
The Midshipmen went 7-1 in AAC play tying for the top spot in the American Athletic West with Memphis, but missed out on the AAC title game due to a 23-35 setback at Memphis. The only other loss was against nationally ranked Notre Dame, which they got destroyed 52-20.
This series has shifted in recent years. From 2002 to 2015 Navy dominated with a 14-game winning streak. Army snapped that streak with a 21-17 upset win in 2015 and have won each of the two meetings since for a 3-game run.
That’s not the only streak running in this matchup. The UNDER has cashed in every meeting (13 straight) between the two since 2006.
Free College Football Against the Spread Pick: Army +10.5
As easy it would be to just give out a lean on the UNDER given it’s amazing track record in this series, I like the value here with Army as a double-digit dog. I just think there’s a ton of value here with the Black Knights in this one.
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Forget about how Army didn’t meet expectations this year. A win here and nobody will care about what they weren’t able to accomplish this season. They are going to bring it on Saturday and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if they pulled off the upset and won their 4th straight in the series.
The big thing to keep in mind with Army’s 5-7 record is they were on the wrong end of a lot of close games. In fact, their only loss by more than 9 points all season was their regular-season finale at Hawaii which saw the Rainbow Warriors return a pick 100 yards for a score. Instead of likely losing 38-45, they fell 31-52.
The numbers also suggest these two are a lot closer in terms of talent than the line would suggest. Both are elite rushing teams. Navy was No. 1 in the country in rushing and Army was No. 2. Both are also strong defensively. Midshipmen finished 33rd in total defense (324.5 ypg) and the Black Knights were 29th (337.8 ypg).
Something else to keep in mind is that while Navy went 7-1 in AAC play, they were very fortunate not having to play either UCF or Cincinnati out of the East. I just don’t think the Midshipmen are as good as people think. Give me Army +10.5!