Army – Navy CFB Spread Winner

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Army

vs.

Navy

Free College

Football Pick

12/12/15

In its first season in the AAC, Navy was close to winning the West division and competing for the Conference crown. However, a loss at Houston prevented that, although the Midshipmen still finished ranked with a 9-2 record. Before they face Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl, Navy takes on Army at Lincoln Financial Field this Saturday. Navy is a large -22 point favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

This year was expected to be tough for Army and that’s exactly how it played out as the Black Knights only sit with two wins right now. They’ve had plenty of close Games throughout the year, but just couldn’t pull most of them out. Even a 20-14 loss at Penn State may have been the highlight of the season as a 25-point underdog.

No matter, Army has been able to compete recently in this matchup despite having a lesser team. That was the case last year when Navy was a 16.5-point favorite, yet won 17-10 in a close matchup played in wet, rough conditions. Army hasn’t won in awhile, but has covered in three of the last Four years, so there’s at least that.

Navy is having a good season, but some of that can be contributed to playing an easier Schedule due to being in the AAC. Their best win of the season was probably at Memphis, while nothing else really stands out for the Midshipmen. against better teams, their defense faltered, even if the offense still churned out yards and points.

This Game is usually lower scoring as these teams are super familiar with the triple-option. In fact, the under has hit in nine straight meetings between these them. Navy may be scoring a lot, but if Army can keep them below 30 points, they will have a good chance to cover. The over/under is floating around at 53 points.

As usual for the Midshipmen, Keenan Reynolds is the name you need to know in this offense. Playing in his senior season, this will be his final Game in this matchup and second-to-last overall. He set the NCAA FBS record of rushing touchdowns this year and raised that bar to 83 heading into this Game. For this year, his numbers are the best yet, partly because he’s been more efficient the few times he has passed the ball with 11.48 yards per attempt. And as expected, he leads the team with 1,093 rushing yards for 19 touchdowns. Chris Swain (847 yards, 10 TDs) is the only other guy in the backfield that has seen a ton of touches.

again, Army’s defense can be feisty and has held this Navy offense mostly in check throughout the years. Army’s offense is the bigger question as they’ve scored just 22 points per Game on the year. The Black Knights also only have 30 points total in the last three meetings against Navy.

Another issue for Army is that its quarterback situation is a little iffy. With both A.J. SChurr and Ahmad Bradshaw injured last Game, freshman Chris Carter got the first start of his career against Rutgers. Playing in the triple-option, QB changes aren’t a huge deal, but having less experience hurts. The Black Knights need to find a way to run the ball no matter who is at quarterback. They competed last year by having 198 rushing yards in addition to a special teams touchdown.

If Navy comes out firing and Reynolds has an easy time finding room, it’s doubtful the Army offense can keep up. But is this spread too large in this rivalry?

The Black Knights are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six Games overall, while Navy is 8-3 ATS on the year. again, the under has hit nine straight times between these schools.

Our Pick – with such a large number, we’d generally be looking to take the points in such a huge rivalry Game. In fact, had you taken +23 with Army the last 6 years in this Game you would have gone 5-1 against the spread and had you taken +23 with Army in every Game this year you would have gone 10-1 ATS.

That being said, Our model predicts Navy to clobber Army this week by a score of 48-14 and we’re going to side with the model in this one. Navy -22.5

 

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