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Midshipmen double-digit favorites in 120th Army-Navy game

The two top rushing attacks in the country will be on display Saturday in Philadelphia as the Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen clash for the 120th time. Army has won the last three meetings but the Midshipmen, who won 14 straight from 2002 to 2015, have been bet up to 10-point favorites.

Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen
  • Date/Time: December 14, 3 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Lincoln Financial Field
  • TV Coverage: CBS
  • Opening Odds: Navy -9 | O/U 45
  • Army vs Navy Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

After being favored last year for the first time in this series since 2010, the Black Knights are back to the more familiar underdog role. Army opened as a 9-point dog, and early action on the Midshipmen moved this line to +10 as of Sunday. Army is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.

Army News & Notes

Both teams always get up for the Army-Navy game, but the Black Knights don’t need to worry about holding anything back for bowl season. This will be Army’s final game of the campaign after the Black Knights fell short of bowl eligibility with a 5-7 record, snapping a three-year streak of postseason play.

Army was eliminated from bowl contention with a 52-31 loss November 30 at Hawaii, when the Black Knights outgained the Rainbow Warriors but were undone by a pair of costly interceptions — one set up a Hawaii TD in the second quarter and another was returned 100 yards for a major.

Army will need better quarterback play to pull off the upset of Navy, but it’s unclear who will actually line up under center for the Black Knights on Saturday. Kelvin Hopkins Jr. was knocked out of the Hawaii game in the second quarter with an unspecified injury, and his status for this week was cloudy as of Monday.

With backup Jabari Laws already hurt and third-stringer Christian Anderson leaving the game against Hawaii with an injury as well, it’s possible the Black Knights will have to turn to freshman Jemel Jones.

Navy News & Notes

The Midshipmen have put a disappointing 2018 behind them, rebounding from a 3-10 showing with a 9-2 campaign that has them back in the AP Top 25. The key to Navy’s success, as always, has been the ground game. Navy’s average of 360.8 rushing yards per game is not only the most in the country, it’s nearly 50 more than second-ranked Army.

Senior QB Malcolm Perry leads all FBS quarterbacks with 1,500 rushing yards and has run for 19 touchdowns, adding 1,027 yards and six TDs through the air to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors in the American Athletic Conference.

Despite the heavy emphasis on the run, Navy has been an OVER machine of late, eclipsing the total in seven of its last nine games. Part of it has been an offense that has put up 34 points or more eight times during that stretch, but the Midshipmen defense has also been torched for 121 points in its last three games against Notre Dame, SMU and Houston.

Betting Pick: Navy -10

Regardless of who starts at quarterback for Army, I don’t see the Black Knights scoring enough points to hang with the high-scoring Midshipmen.

Shark Bites
  • The UNDER is 22-7 in Army’s last 29 games following a bye week.
  • Navy is 11-3-1 ATS in its last 15 games.
  • The UNDER is 14-2 in Army’s last 16 games against Navy.