Without a bowl appearance on the horizon for either side, the annual tussle between the Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen takes on even more meaning since this IS their bowl game. While the matchup has lost much of its luster over the decades, the game is still such a big deal it gets a week all to itself. You might as well throw all the records and stats out the window when these men lace it up against each other. Both teams are playing perhaps their best football of the season coming in with Army notching consecutive blowout wins and Navy splitting its last four with close setbacks to Cincinnati and Notre Dame.
On Saturday, December 10, 2022, the Army Black Knights play the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. Kickoff time is set for 3 p.m. ET with television coverage on CBS.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Army Black Knights +1
Navy Midshipmen -1
Depending on which sportsbook you visit the odds for the game have been bouncing all over the place. It does make sense though since this is the rivalry game to end all rivalry games. And both teams have been closely matched over the course of the season. In addition since it’s the only game on the college football schedule this week it’s going to get added attention from the betting public. We saw the line settle with Army laying 1.5-points, which would be the shortest spread in the series in over 20 years. Army won the 2001 tilt 26-17 as a 1.5-point favorite. Navy won the next 14 games. With the teams cashing the UNDER in 16 straight games oddsmakers have taken notice setting the total at 33.5. Apparently that wasn’t low enough since the number was wagered down an additional point to 32.5 since hitting the board.
Army Black Knights
The chance to close the season on a strong note and beating the Middies to do it is plenty of motivation. Army crushed UMass and UConn in its previous two games by a combined score of 78-24 earning payouts in both games. Their two losses before that to Troy and Air Force were by a total of seven points with the Black Knights staying within the spread. In fact they might be the hottest team at the betting window with five straight payouts after starting the season 1-5 ATS.
Both teams have been very good running the football in recent years and 2022 is no exception. Army amassed 329 rushing yards in a 44-7 win over UMass exceeding the 300-yard mark for the sixth time. They have the second-best ground game in the FBS averaging 304 yards but only Tyhier Tyler has run for 600 yards. However, most of the damage was done against lesser opponents with their two highest yardage outputs in wins over FCS Villanova and Colgate. In their four most recent losses Army averaged just 234 rushing yards and 10 points cashing the UNDER in all four.
There are no moral victories in college football, but Navy has to feel pretty good about their chances after an impressive stretch ahead of this matchup. They upset UCF 17-14 as a 14.5-point dog last time out controlling the line of scrimmage and running the football effectively. The Middies converted all four fourth-down tries holding the football for 40 minutes. Prior to that, they outscored Notre Dame 19-0 in the second half falling short as a 17-point dog in the 35-32 setback. The Middies also lost 20-10 to AAC heavyweight Cincinnati catching 18.5 points to end a difficult three-game stretch with three payouts.
As long as the QB can run the football the Navy offense will work fine. Xavier Arline has filled in admirably since starter Tai Lavatai went down with a season-ending injury. Arline threw just one pass in the UCF game but ran for 24 yards and a score as the Middies racked up 248 yards on 63 carries. Navy’s defense has been stronger statistically allowing just 85.8 rushing yards per game. The group will be tested in a big way on Saturday.
Army vs. Navy Free Pick
We’re going to see a lot of rush attempts in this game and both sides should be well trained in how to handle the option since they see it every day in practice. Army’s record is a bit deceiving with two wins over FCS foes and another two over programs that have struggled in UMass in Connecticut. Navy is better defensively shutting down a good UCF club last time out and blanking the Irish over the final 30 minutes of that contest. Once again we won’t see a lot of points, but Navy is a good bet on the line.
BookMaker Pick: Navy -1
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