America’s Game Preview: Army vs. Navy Odds
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Neither team factors into the national title picture, nor have they factored into it in years—decades, in fact. There is no conference championship on the line. Bowl game berths have already been handed out, and neither team has a player vying for the Heisman Trophy. But it is the most respected and one of the oldest rivalries in sports.
It is the last regular-season game of the college football season, and the only one played during Week 16. It’s America’s Game—Army versus Navy.
Unlike most rivalries where the two fan bases are usually made up primarily of former students, the respective fan bases for the Navy Midshipmen and the Army Black Knights go much deeper than that.
With thousands of active duty and former members of each branch cheering them on, there is not a more dedicated collection of fans in the country. Subsequently, they may not always bet with their heads prioritizing pride over money.
Just like any other college football game, there is a favorite and an underdog. A money line is set and an over/under number designated. So—how should you wager?
America’s Game Odds: Navy Favored To End Army’s Streak
From 2002 through 2015, Army football had one goal—beat Navy. Just like any other rivalry, a win makes the season. With most of those being lean years for the Black Knights, a win over Navy would have meant the world.
However, they just couldn’t get it done—at least not until the 2016 season. Since then, they have the last two meaning this year’s senior class has a chance to do something special—finish their careers having never lost to Navy.
To do so, they are going to have to overcome some significant odds. Navy enters the game with a 9-2 record and is ranked No. 23 in the country. Army, while competitive in every game they lost but one, enter the game with a 5-7 record.
So, it should come as no surprise that Navy is favored by ten points (via DraftKings). But while the Midshipmen are heavy favorites, from a statistical perspective, these teams couldn’t be more similar than they are.
Navy has the No. 1 rushing attack in the country; Army’s is No.2. The Navy passing game ranks No.128; Army’s, 129th. Army is ranked 29th in total yards allowed; Navy is ranked 33rd. Both teams allow about the same number of points, 22-23,
But where they differ the most happens to be the one stat. That matters most—scoring. Navy has been putting up 39.3 points a game this season, and Army has been averaging 30.3.
Statistically, this game projects to be a close one—which would be in line with the last five results, all one-possession wins. Since they are the top two run games in the nation, it is likely safe to say that this game is going to be a slugfest.
As is common in games that feature run games, their will likely not be a ton of scoring. The last time a game covered what the over/under is in this one (40.5 points) was the 2013 edition (Navy won 34-7).
With what is at stake in this game—bragging rights for an entire branch of the Armed Forces for a year – this one will likely come down to who makes the fewest mistakes and the last. Both are among the least penalized teams in the country.
Neither turns the ball over much, but they also don’t force too many turnovers.
So—who is going to be? Will the favorite (Navy) rule the day, or will the underdog Black Knights keep their streak alive?
A proud nation will be watching the 120th edition of America’s Game Saturday afternoon to find out.