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Risk Management : A Bettor’s Guide to Service Academy Football Week 3

Army West Point looks to capitalize on Hawaii’s trip to the east coast while Navy seeks to open the flood gates against FCS Lehigh

Stanford v Army Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images

So, I didn’t exactly nail it last week, but with some appropriate management of risk on your part, hopefully the AAE picks didn’t break the bank. While I crushed the Air Force game picks, I certainly failed to predict the low scoring affair in the Navy-Memphis battle mostly due to heavy rains and multiple Tigers turnovers. Additionally, I knew the Liberty offense was a bit of an unknown after only one week of play, but I honestly didn’t expect Army West Point to hold the Flames to only two touchdowns the week following Turner Gill’s squad dominating performance against Old Dominion. Alas, I look to improve my 2-4 record this week with my picks below.

Army West Point (84.3% win probability)

Army (1-1) is currently sitting as a -6.5 favorite in their match-up against Hawaii (3-0). Army is 1-1 against the spread and is 1-0 covering at home. The Rainbow Warriors are 2-1 against the spread and 1-0 on the road. The obvious challenge for Hawaii involves playing a game with a noon kickoff time on the East Coast. Yes, that’s right, that is a 0600 body clock feel for the Warriors at kickoff. Even with the early kickoff, it is tough to ignore Hawaii QB Cole McDonald’s performance the first three weeks of the season. McDonald is averaging nearly 400 yards and over four touchdowns a game for the Warriors this season and while there is a possibility an early wake up call may slow him down, I have to take the 6.5 points. Defensively, however, I recognize that the Hawaii has yet to slow down any opponent. In fact, Hawaii’s inability to stop opposing offenses has directly contributed to all three of their games ending with the “over” so far in 2018. Just two weeks ago, Navy dropped 41 points against the Warriors with their triple option based offense and Army will likely approach that same point total already getting close to the combined 62 point threshold.


Over (62) - Minor Risk

Hawaii (+6.5) - Moderate Risk

Navy (96.8% win probability)

Navy (1-1) is currently a -30 point favorite in their second home game of the season when they take on FCS Lehigh (1-1) Saturday afternoon. These FBS/FCS games are always tough to predict and even more challenging when there is a chance that Hurricane Florence will play a role. While the latest weather forecasts call for a limited impact in Annapolis on Saturday, a slight Florence course change could significantly alter the likely combined point total, although a Navy win is probable no matter the weather. The Midshipmen’s triple option offense will likely score on at least six possessions and the defense should have success limiting Lehigh’s ball movement. The 30-point spread is very appropriate (let’s face it, these Vegas folks are pretty good) as I expect to see a 42-14 or 42-10 type game. I will give the nod to Navy at home as they look to cover the spread two weeks in a row at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.


Over (62.5) - Moderate Risk

Navy (-30) - Minor Risk

Alright, there you have it. Two games with two very different challenges to consider when placing those wagers. Jet lag in one, a major hurricane in the other. Let’s hope we right the ship this week and get our overall betting record back above .500.