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Risk Management: The Army-Navy Game

The Army Black Knights are favored for the first time since 2001

NCAA Football: Army at Navy James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Why you would ever bet on this game is beyond me. Trust me, the records don’t matter in this game. I am only writing this because our Chairman, Justin Mears, is making me.

Army-Navy Game

The Army West Point Black Knights opened up and currently remain as 7 point favorites heading into Saturday’s only FBS game of the day. The fact that this game has its own day certainly increases its notoriety, but I warn you again, do not bet on this game. If Army is favored for the first time since 2001 then it is safe to say the Vegas underdog has prevailed straight-up for at least two years and that could certainly happen again this year, even against my better judgement.

Army has won seven straight games this year, yet is only 4-3 against the spread in that same time. While Navy suffered a seven game losing streak in the middle of the season they are an impressive 4-1 ATS in their last five games. But that one loss is certainly a cause for bettors concerns as that was a 42-0 loss to Cincinnati (Again, I am giving you all the reasons in the world not to bet on this game). Navy has certainly looked more impressive in recent outings and I don’t think Vegas has caught up to that trend. So, I will give the nod to Navy covering the seven points especially considering this game generally finishes within one possession. Only one time since 2011 has this game been decided by more than one score.

The O/U opened at 42 and it seems like people thought that was just a little too high. In just over 24 hours after opening that total shifted to 40, where it currently sits today. Let’s look at history for this wager, too. This game has totaled greater than 40 combined points only twice since 2011 (in 2013 with a 24-7 win for Navy and again in 2011 with a 27-21 victory for the Midshipmen). Considering both of these teams dominate the time of possession battle it is unlikely the point total will creep too far above 40, if at all. But the 40 mark is low and I do think both teams will find the end zone a few times thanks in large part due to some big plays. Yes, believe it or not, big plays can happen under the triple option.

Spread: Take Navy (+7)

O/U: Take the over (just slightly)

Pick: Army 24 Navy 20