John Marshall takes center stage in Midshipmen vs Black Knights picks and odds

Navy vs Army Picks & Odds: Will Military Rivals Go UNDER Again?

Bowl eligibility is on the line Saturday for the Army Black Knights (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS) when they face the Navy Midshipmen (4-7, 7-4) in the annual Army-Navy Game. Navy beat Army 17-13 in last year’s meeting, the 16th consecutive time these rivals have gone UNDER the total.

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Midshipmen vs Black Knights Sportsbook Odds

The fact that the last 16 meetings between Army and Navy have gone UNDER is no secret to oddsmakers, who opened the total at 34.5 — the lowest for an Army/Navy game in the history of the Odds Shark database, which goes back to 1995. The total had still dropped a point to 33.5 as of Monday morning, and the point spread had flipped to Navy as a 1-point favorite.

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Backup Quarterback Has Helped Midshipmen Hang Tough As Big Underdogs

Although the Midshipmen won’t be going bowling this season, they go into this contest with plenty of momentum. Navy shocked Central Florida 17-14 as a 14.5-point underdog in its last outing, concluding a tough three-game stretch that also included a visit to Cincinnati and a neutral-site contest against Notre Dame.

Navy went 3-0 ATS in those games, losing by just three points to the Irish and by 10 as an 18.5-point dog to Cincinnati. Not only that, the Midshipmen did it with backup quarterback Xavier Arline under center after losing starter Tai Lavatai to a season-ending knee injury in late October.

Defensively, the Middies have been stout against the run, ranking fourth in the nation with just 85.8 yards allowed on the ground per game. Linebacker John Marshall is fourth in the NCAA in tackles for a loss and fifth in sacks.

Army Has Routed Last Two Opponents To Move Within One Win Of Bowl Eligibility

Army has won each of its last two games to keep its bowl game hopes alive, crushing FBS bottom-feeders UMass and Connecticut by a combined score of 78-24. Two of the Knights’ other three wins came against FCS opponents Colgate and Villanova, games Army won by an average of 32 points.

Things haven’t gone nearly as well for the Knights against tougher opposition, especially offensively. Army averaged 10 points per game in its four recent losses to Troy, Air Force, Wake Forest and Georgia State.

Quarterback Tyhier Tyler directs a triple option attack that averaged more than 300 rushing yards per game, the second-highest total in the nation. Fullbacks Tyson Riley and Jakobi Buchanan have combined to rack up 775 rushing yards this season, while Tyler led the team with 601 yards on the ground.

Midshipmen: Keys To Victory

Being able to stop the run is always a big key in service academy clashes, and Navy’s run defense (fourth in the nation) has been much better than Army’s (116th) this season. The Midshipmen offense has also looked good with Arline at the helm.

Black Knights: Keys To Victory

Motivation shouldn’t be lacking for either team, but Army has the added incentive of needing a victory to secure bowl eligibility. The Knights defense has held four straight opponents to 17 points or less, while Navy has surrendered at least 20 in six of its last seven.

College Football Computer Pick: Black Knights -1

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Shark Bites
  • Navy is 7-2 ATS in its last 9 games.
  • Army is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • The UNDER is 16-0 in the last 16 meetings.