Show me the money! All three service academy teams in action under the lights this Saturday.
Army at Western Kentucky
Saturday, October 12 7:00 ET on Stadium
Spread: Army -4.5
As we all know by now, Army snapped a 15-game win streak at home at the hands of Tulane last week. Now the Black Knights will hit the road and re-assume favorite status as a 4.5 point expected winner against the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.
Since 2017 Army is 3-0 as the away favorite and 4-2 ATS after a loss. In short, throughout West Point’s football rise the last couple of years, Coach Monken usually has his team pretty comfortable in these situations.
Tyson Helton is in his first year at the helm at Western Kentucky which currently holds a 3-2 record. Helton has just one game under his belt as the home underdog, yet he led the Hilltoppers to not only covering the +3.5 against UAB but actually earned the outright win. This came after a disappointing season opening loss to Central Arkansas.
WEEK 7 SP+ PICKS!— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) October 9, 2019
* Miami 27, Virginia 20
* Georgia 36, South Carolina 17
* Oklahoma 42, Texas 30
* Clemson 40, Florida State 19
* Penn State 28, Iowa 22 (18-12 sounds more PSU-Iowaish)
* Notre Dame 34, USC 25
* LSU 32, Florida 24
* Et cetera! pic.twitter.com/wnKPIJg6G9
I expect Army to take care of business here and S&P+ favors an Army cover. While Army has yet to put together a flawless offensive game together I do think this game will set the tone for the rest of the year and Coach Monken will have his team prepared to perform well on both sides of the ball. I see a 31-17 type game. Take Army to cover but avoid the O/U.
Army -4.5 - Moderate Risk
Over (43.5) - High Risk
Fresno State at Air Force
Saturday, October 12 7:00 ET on CBSSN
Spread: Air Force -3.5
Air Force has played well in the state of Colorado with a 3-0 record within state lines and 2-1 ATS. Since 2017, the Falcons are just 5-6 ATS as the home favorite which doesn’t necessarily make you want to throw your money at them and to make matters worse, Air Force is just 5-10 ATS in games following a loss.
Okay, so you read all of those numbers and ask “ehh, do I really think Fresno State covers this spread?” Well, they might. Fresno State is an impressive 6-0 ATS as the away underdog in the last three seasons and they are coming off of a bye weekend. Why is the bye important? Well, with a rest disadvantage Air Force is just 1-3 ATS since 2017. Now, 1-3 in four games isn’t enough to make a decision independently but a lot of the signs point towards taking Fresno State.
But this is where I go against the grain and say I just don’t see it. I don’t have a lot of good reasons except I can’t see the Falcons dropping this game and I seem them winning by more than a field goal. If anything, I like the “over.”
Air Force -3.5 - High Risk
Over (51) - Moderate Risk
Navy at Tulsa
Saturday, October 12 7:30 ET on ESPNU
Vegas Insider shows this game opened with a 2.5 point spread favoring Tulsa. The game has shifted to a “pick ‘em” which makes everything more fun if you ask me.
Since I have used 2017 as the starting point for the other games I decided to do the same look back for Navy. I was quickly reminded that Navy was just 3-10 last year so that heavily impacted any potentially found trend. So instead, I looked at two things. The history of Navy vs. Tulsa and Navy’s history immediately following a win over Air Force under Niumatalolo.
History: Navy is 4-0 against Tulsa since joining the AAC and 3-0 overall at Tulsa.
Air Force: Navy is just 2-4 under Coach Niumatalolo following a win over Air Force.
Let’s face it a win over Air Force in the middle of the season is an emotional ride. How Navy responds and moves forward will be telling. My gut tells me that 3-10 season last year is still on the Mid’s minds and I don’t see them getting caught off guard against a respected Tulsa squad. The O/U has been climbing all week and I think has inched just a little too high.
Navy (PK) - High Risk
Under (54) - Moderate Risk