The end of the college football regular season always concludes with Navy and Army in Philadelphia. It’s always a bittersweet game in the sense that it is the first Saturday in months that we haven’t had a full card of college football action. But at the same time, I love bowl season and having games on nearly every day. The second ever college football playoff adds to the excitement as well. For bowl season, one of the best policies in betting the games is finding the teams who are motivated and the ones who are not. Do you really think Baylor and UNC are excited to go to the Russell Athletic Bowl? Problem being there is that Baylor and UNC are playing each other. I don’t see either team wanting to get up for that one, two teams who were in the mix for the college football playoff not too long ago. North Carolina got jobbed on that onside kick penalty. The consolation prize for the Tar Heels is an invite to the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. At least the weather is nice, right?
This leads me up to Navy, where we have seen somebody get jobbed as well. Keenan Reynolds the highly routed quarterback at Navy was hoping for an invite to the Heisman ceremony. He was hoping for an invite and to win it. Reynolds said he would have took a helicopter to the ceremony following this game. There is a problem though, Reynolds didn’t even get invited to the ceremony. There was a viewing party for the announcement, but Navy was left disappointed. Reynolds broke the college football record for touchdowns this season with 83 throughout his career. Navy had a pretty nice season as well with a 9-2 record. If they beat Houston in the conference championship game, the Midshipmen would have been in a New Year bowl. However, they’ll be in the Military Bowl, pretty predictable there.
Army comes in with the opposite fortunes, as they enter against Navy with a 2-9 record. It isn’t without trying. They have had some close games this season. However, this wasn’t the most daunting schedule and the teams they beat are not going to generate many style points. Note Army beat Bucknell and Eastern Michigan. The Bucknell game was fairly close too, as Army won 21-14. Navy will be their biggest test yet, against their biggest rival. This is usually relatively an even matchup. Not so much today, as Navy is clearly the superior team. But is that going to result in a cover? We shall see.
Navy Midshipmen vs. Army Black Knights Betting Odds:
vs. Army +21.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Navy vs. Army Pick:
The only thing going for Army in this game is that it is a rivalry game. Sometimes weird things can happen in those games. I should say that Navy’s head coach is being looked at for the BYU head coaching job, so that might serve as a distraction as well. But will it be enough? Not only does Navy have Reynolds at quarterback, but the defense is not too bad either. Houston and Notre Dame were the only teams to do a number on them. Following the Notre Dame game, Navy stopped Tulane for 14 points. Tulane recently scored 34 on Army.
Army cannot throw the ball more than 5 yards, Navy does have a passing element to their offense. They still run the triple-option, but Reynolds can pull the ball back in the pocket and make a pass. I look for them to hit a couple of big plays in that regard. Once Navy jumps out on top, I don’t see how Army is going to be able to do much. Navy has scored 37.5 points per game, compared to Army’s 22.5. They also hold the superior defense, allowing 21.7 points per game. Take away Houston and Notre Dame and they’re under 20. The 21.5 points looks so good with Army, right? When Army can’t move the ball do much of anything early you might be rethinking that. Navy could easily put up around 40, I don’t know where Army finds their points this afternoon. Big number but a big cover for Navy.
PICK: NAVY -21.5 (-110)