One of the most highly anticipated traditions in all of college football is the Army/Navy game and it’s happening this Saturday as the Black Knights and the Midshipmen lock horns at MetLife Stadium. Let’s analyze this storied matchup and keep cashing our college football picks!
Navy Midshipmen vs. Army Black Knights
Saturday, December 11, 2021 – 03:00 PM EST at MetLife Stadium
Army had a three-game losing streak sandwiched between a pair of four-game winning streaks to end the season with an 8-3 record. In their last performance, the Black Knights scored a mild upset of Liberty two weeks ago with a 31-16 victory as three-point road underdogs.
The Black Knights remained run-heavy as quarterback Christian Anderson passed only four times, connecting on three, yet still had a touchdown pass and 125 yards courtesy of two long strikes with a 51-yard pass to Tyrell Robinson and a 34-yard touchdown strike to Braheam Murphy.
But it was the relentless ground assault that doused the Flames’ hopes of competing in this game. When the dust settled, Army had racked up 222 rushing yards led by Jakobi Buchanan with 80 yards on 22 carries.
Middies End on a Winning Note
There wasn’t much to cheer about for Navy fans this season but they did end it in style with a 38-14 win over Temple and covered as 13 ½ point road favorites. Tai Lavatai connected on 5-of-11 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown pass to Chance Warren who, incidentally, also caught Xavier Arline’s only pass of the game for a 15-yard touchdown.
But it was the rushing attack that wore down the Owls as a senior fullback, Carlinos Acie, led all runners with 86 yards while teammate Isaac Ruoss chipped in with 66 yards and a pair of touchdowns scampers. It was just the third win of the season for the Midshipmen but it should be noted they have covered seven of their last nine contests.
Navy had a stranglehold on this series by winning 14 straight games but that has shifted recently with Army now winning four of their last five meetings with the Middies.
Wanna Make a Bet?
If you like passing then this game is not for you. Both teams rely heavily on the ground attack but the Knights do it better than anyone in the nation except Air Force, averaging 301.2 rushing yards per game. Navy’s no slouch themselves, checking in at No. 7 in the nation averaging 229.3 yards per contest.
But Army has a big advantage in that its defense is ranked 11th defending the run, surrendering just 103.7 rushing yards per game which places them seventh in that category. This will put a big crimp in the Navy game plan because if they can’t run, well, we know they can’t pass, as they are ranked 130th in the country.
That is the game in a nutshell. It will be a test of wills between the two ground-and-pound offenses but the bottom line is that Army does it so much better and Navy has only a decent run-stop unit which won’t be enough to derail the freight train coming at them on Saturday.
The college football odds are showing the Knights as 7 to 7 ½ point neutral-site favorites at the top-rated sportsbooks and that seems to make sense when considering the disparity on both sides of the ball between the two teams. We should also consider the following trends that heavily favor Army as well.
- Midshipmen are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Midshipmen are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
- Black Knights are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
- Black Knights are 5-1-1 ATS versus Navy over their last 7 meetings.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.