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Army vs. Navy Pick with Analysis

12/10/11

The annual Army vs. Navy game will be held on Saturday and will mark the end of the college football regular season. Neither team qualified for a bowl game this year, so it will be the last game for each team. Army comes in 3-8 while Navy has one more win at 4-7. A win here for either team, will make their season. Navy has won 9 straight in the series and is currently a -7 point favorite with as posted total of 56 at 5 Dimes.

The series history is fairly even with Navy holding a 6 game edge. But as mentioned above, the last decade has been dominated by Navy. Over the last decade, Navy teams have routinely won 8, 9 and 10 games a season while Army has routinely won 3, 4 and 5 games, and even less, over that same time span. Not only has Navy won 9 straight but the games weren't even close, with the smallest margin being 12 points. Last year, a 7 win Army team lost to Navy, 31-17.

While both teams have had terrible years with some bad losses, Navy is once again the superior team based on the results of the season. Against two common opponents, Rutgers and Air Force, Navy lost by 1 point. Army lost to those two by 10 and 15. Army has also gone winless in games played away from West Point, 0-7.

As with any series where there has been recent lopsided results, the team that has been the punching bag has to take advantage of an opportunity when it arises. It can easily be said that this is the best chance in 10 years for Army to break through and beat Navy. A look at the yards per point numbers here shows Navy had an easier time moving the ball this year, about 2.5 points better than Army, while neither team had much of a defense, Navy with a 13.9 and Army with a 13. Bad numbers for the defensive side of the ball. Both teams will find the end zone here, and our score prediction model agrees as well, predicting a 32-27 Navy win.

Army QB Trent Steelman has been injured but is listed as probable. Obviously, a healthy Steelman helps our cause here. But either way, we're going to give Army a shot. There may be no bowl games for these two, but this game will have all the emotion of a bowl game and more. It always does. We think Army has a good chance to win this one straight up. If not, the +7 may come in handy. Army +7

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