Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Pick – NCAAF December 11, 2021

The Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen meet for what is always the final game before bowl season at MetLife Stadium. Army and Navy is the only FBS game of the weekend, but there is FCS action to be had if you want the FCS Playoffs.

Army and Navy have this Saturday to themselves, while the rest of the FBS gears up for final exams and their bowl games. I’m somebody that likes the old school smash mouth football, so I can get away watching football without much passing.

If you watched the New England Patriots on Monday night, you have a small preview of what you’re going to see on Saturday. That said, there might actually be more passing attempts in this one between Army and Navy than the Patriots and Bills.

It isn’t quite the same as that game, as Army and Navy use a triple-option. The Patriots just lined up and pounded the ball. They didn’t get fancy with some triple-option, though I’m sure Bill Belichick would have loved to.

If Belichick had weeks to prepare, he probably would have run a tribute to Navy with a triple-option. Navy will likely have to pass more than Belichick did to win this one, though. While Army and Navy might run the same offense, Navy might have to come up with a sneaky deep connection to spur the upset.

Army is going bowling in the Armed Forces Bowl against the Missouri Tigers. This isn’t a look ahead spot. There is no looking ahead to a bowl that they’re regularly in versus a mediocre Missouri team. Their annual battle against Navy is far more important and the only thing they’re focused on.

The only looking ahead for Navy is next season. While Army is going into Saturday at 8-3 and third best Independent school, the Midshipmen are 3-8 with wins against UCF, 34-30, Tulsa, 20-17, and Temple, 38-14.

They are coming off a win versus Temple, while the Black Knights were impressive against a good Liberty team in a 31-16 win. Army enters on a four-game winning streak, which includes a 21-14 win in overtime against Air Force.

The Black Knights will have their starting quarterback, Christian Anderson. The only games that Army lost this season, Anderson didn’t play. It might have mattered if he played against Wisconsin, which ended up being a 20-14 win in favor of the Badgers.

One of their other losses was a look ahead spot to Wisconsin. They suffered a 28-16 loss in an upset against Ball State the week before, and then after Wisconsin, you could say it was a letdown against Wake Forest in a 70-56 final. That was one of the crazier final scores of the year.

Head below for our free Army vs. Navy pick on December 11, 2021.

Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Betting Odds and Team Statistics:

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Army Black Knights -7 (-110) -300 Over 34.5 (-115)
Navy Midshipmen +7 (-110) +250 Under 34.5 (-105)
Team Data Army Black Knights Navy Midshipmen
Overall Record 8-3 3-8
ATS Record 6-5-0 7-4-0
Away/Home Record NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
ATS Away/Home NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
Points Per Game 35.5 20.4
Points Against Per Game 22.8 29.6
Passing Yards Per Game 93.6 54.5
Rushing Yards Per Game 301.7 299.3

Army vs. Navy Prediction:

If you’ve never watched an Army or Navy game, or a military academy game for that matter, I will keep it simple for you.

There will be rushing attempts, and then more rushing attempts on both sides of the ball. That’s what to expect at MetLife Stadium on Saturday.

If you want up and down action, tune into a college basketball game this afternoon instead. The UNDER is on an unprecedented 15-year streak.

Through the last two decades, the UNDER has gone 17-4. This is typically an auto-bet for me every year, but 34.5 points is just getting too low.

We are going to see a low-scoring game, though I was hoping for 38.5 or 39 points to go with the UNDER. I’m confident that Army is going to give up next to nothing for Navy to operate.

The only team that beat Army’s defense was 70 points from Wake Forest. That was an extreme outlier.

The next highest-scoring team versus Army was Western Kentucky in Week 2, 35 points in a 38-35 win for the Black Knights. Western Kentucky has scored a lot of points this season.

I can’t fault that defensive effort from Army, a game where they held the Hilltoppers to less than 45 yards on the ground and 14 points going into the 4th quarter.

Wisconsin is the only team to have a 100-yard rusher on Army this season. Even Air Force, a good triple-option team that almost got to the Mountain West Championship, didn’t have a player go for more than 68 yards on the ground.


Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen Betting Trends:

Army

  • 6-1-1 ATS in their previous eight games at a neutral site
  • 12-3-1 ATS in their previous 16 games in December
  • 3-1 ATS in their previous four games
  • 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games versus Navy
  • 4-1 ATS in their previous five games on a Saturday

Navy

  • 4-1 ATS in their previous five games
  • 2-13 overall in their previous 15 games as an underdog
  • 0-6 ATS in their previous six non-conference games
  • 3-7 ATS in their previous games after a win by more than 20 points
  • 0-5 ATS in their previous five games after allowing less than 20 points

Army is 11th in the FBS with 103.7 yards against per game. They forced Air Force into having to pass with Haaziq Daniels. Daniels can hurl the ball, so it worked, as he passed for 226 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Navy’s Tai Lavatai isn’t as much of a passer as Daniels. He passed for 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on 54.5% completions with 367 yards. In comparison, Daniels has 932 yards through the air.

Army QB, Christian Anderson, missed time season, absent for all three games the Black Knights happened to lose.

Anderson passed for 5 touchdowns with no interceptions on 47.7% completions. He connected for 545 yards despite missing time this year.

Navy is 92nd in the nation with 29.6 points allowed per game, as opposed to 22.8 points allowed per game for Army. Army is 16th in total team defense with an impressive 324.2 yards allowed per game.

The biggest problem for Navy is going to be generating yards and ultimately points. They were almost last in the FBS offensively with just 283.7 yards per game.

Their run game was 7th in the FBS. If you’re a military academy outside of the top-5 in rushing, then that’s not an accomplishment.

The Black Knights churned their legs for more than 300 yards on the ground for second in the FBS. Conversely, Navy recorded a mediocre, for their expectations, 229.3 yards per game on the ground.

Lavatai will be forced into making plays with his arm in this one, and I don’t see that going well. Army will stuff the run for 4 quarters, putting Lavatai into a tough spot. Army isn’t running all over Navy, but they should find the extra two or three plays.

In typical Army-Navy fashion, expect a low-scoring slug fest on Saturday. The points might look attractive, but see Army is a couple steps ahead of the Midshipmen this year. I like a 24-13 or 24-10 win for the Black Knights.

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Army vs. Navy Pick
ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS -7
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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