UPDATE: Navy is the popular pick for this year’s matchup. At DraftKings Sportsbook, 63 percent of the handle and 60 percent of tickets bet on the point spread are for Navy.
College football’s bowl season gets started in six days, but before then, the regular season closes with one of the most iconic matchups in sports. The Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen square off on Saturday, December 14th in their annual tilt at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Kickoff is set for 3:00 p.m. and the game will air on CBS. You can live stream the game for free on CBSSports.com and on the CBS Sports App.
Navy is a 10.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, the biggest point spread since the Midshipmen were a 21-point favorite back in 2015. Navy is -435 on the money line while Army is +320. The point total sits at 40.5. Navy is 9-2 straight up, 8-3 against the spread, and has gone over the point total seven times. Army is 5-7 SU and ATS, and has gone over the point total five times.
Army has won the last three matchups and is 4-1 against the spread in the past five contests. It’s been a one score affair each of the past five seasons and the last time the rivalry went over the point total was in 2005.
Navy is the decidedly better team this season. They rank No. 28 in Football Outsiders’ Combined F/+ rating while Army ranks No. 72. F/+ combines Bill Connelly’s SP+ and Brian Fremeau’s FEI. The teams are a little closer in SP+ (34 and 64) than FEI (24 and 76), but there’s a clear distinction this year.
This will be a ground-based affair with the teams sitting in the top two in rushing yards per game. The under is always a safe bet, especially with rain in the forecast. As for a side, it’s not a bad idea to bet on a close game. Navy should win this one, but if Army’s ground game is sufficiently effective, they could keep it close enough to finish inside the number.
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