Navy (-10.5) vs. Army
Army has won three straight in this battle as the Black Knight seniors are attempting to go a perfect 4-0 in the storied rivalry for the 1st time since 1996. Given that the last 5 matchups have been decided by 7 points or less, you may be quick to assume this will be another close one. Perhaps that sentiment is what is keeping this line at 10.5, because our model sees this at closer to 14.5 point spread in favor of the Midshipmen.
Navy has clearly been a better team during the 2019 campaign, only losing twice, to Cotton Bowl bound Memphis and to Notre Dame. Meanwhile, Army has had a less than stellar season, only beating VMI and UMASS since September. Navy and Army are once again 1-2 in the country in rushing yards, but Navy averages 50 more yards on the ground and about 20 more through the air. Add in the fact that Army starting QB, Kelvin Hopkins JR. exited his team’s last game versus Hawaii two weeks ago and you have a clear advantage in favor of the Midshipmen. Everyone fully expects Hopkins to play, but he will certainly not be 100%.
The theory is that this is a rivalry game and the teams know each other’s offenses so well it's tough to see a team winning by 2 TDs. You can talk about the history and trends and past scores, but the fact remains, and we say this a lot, these two specific teams have never played each other before. We’re talking about a game 5+ years ago, when some of these players were in middle school. Navy is clearly a better team in 2019, and their results have proved it throughout the season.
We should see some rain earlier in the day in Philly on Saturday, but that should taper off by kickoff at 3PM, so don’t be surprised if this one turns on an actual pass from the Midshipmen, who average over 100 yards passing. Give the points and watch the Naval Academy Seniors salvage their legacy by getting one over on the cadets.