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Army-Navy picks and best bets for Saturday’s rivalry game

The Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen meet in one of the most entertaining annual spectacles of the college football seasons.

NCAA Football: Army at Navy Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The most pageantry filled rivalry will be renewed on Saturday as the Army Black Knights will meet the Navy Midshipmen in the 123rd playing of the Army-Navy Game. The rivalry will take place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA, and will kick off at 3 p.m. ET on CBS.

Army (5-6) is trying to end the year on a positive note and is trying to avoid losing to Navy for a third time in four years. Starting the season at 1-4, the Black Knights scrapped its way to five wins, ending the season with a pair of victories over UConn and UMass. Army’s offense moved at a relatively brisk pace for a triple-option team, averaging 32 minutes of possession time per game and scoring 29.4 points per contest. Quarterback Tyhier Tyler was an effective runner for the team, racking up 601 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns for season.

Navy (4-7, 4-4 AAC) struggled to establish momentum throughout the season as every win was stacked between losses. The Midshipmen couldn’t quite get over the hump in games where they faced a significant talent deficit, but did keep things close against the likes of Cincinnati and Notre Dame. They finally broke through with an upset victory over No. 20 UCF three weeks ago, a game where they held possession of the ball for just under 40 minutes. Starting quarterback Tai Lavatai was lost to a season-ending injury in late October and fullback Daba Fofana had to step up as the team’s top rusher.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

Army: 71 overall, 82 offense, 51 defense
Navy: 92 overall, 106 offense, 45 defense

Injury update

Army

RB Tyrell Robinson - Out indefinitely (Undisclosed)

Navy

No new injuries to report.

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

Army: 6-5 ATS
Navy: 7-4 ATS

Total

Army: Over 7-4
Navy: Over 6-5

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Navy -2.5
Total: 32.5
Moneyline: Navy -135, Army +115

Opening line: Army -1
Opening total: 33.5

Weather

44 degrees, partly sunny, 8 MPH winds ENE

The Pick

Army +2.5

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already hip to #ServiceAcademyUnders and have already bet that. But I’m going with the Black Knights to cover the tight 2.5-point spread in this one.

Army has been the better team from a stats perspective and will be motivated to not lose a second straight game in this series. Both teams know one another like the back of their hand and with the margins razor thin, the loss of a quarterback like Lavatai could prove to be a huge blow for the Middies. Take Army on the spread.