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Free Pick: Navy 3-8 vs. Army 8-3 at E. Rutherford, NY. 12/11/21
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: Navy 3-8 vs. Army 8-3 at E. Rutherford, NY. 12/11/21

This is always a fun game to watch between these two bitter rivalries. It truly is a game where records do not have much of a bearing on the outcome. They are similar in everything they do on both sides of the ball. Navy leads the all-time series by a 61-53 margin with seven ties. But, Army has won 4 out of the last 5 and seem to have the upper hand in this hotly contested series. Let’s look at the lines.


Navy: The Midshipmen have suffered through a 3-8 season, but have played better the past five games, despite winning only two of them. They only lost by 7 to undefeated Cincinnati, didn’t embarrass themselves at Notre Dame, and lost by three to a 7-5 East Carolina. They beat a 6-6 Tulsa team on the road, and killed Temple 38-14. So, they have hope in this game. The key will be how well they can run the ball against the Army front, because they have a poor passing game averaging only 54 yards per game through the air. One would think they are going to struggle moving the ball and it is imperative that they stay turnover-free.

Army: The Cadets have been much better on offense as they are averaging 36 points per game. However, they play a weaker schedule overall than Navy does. They have wins against 1-11 UCONN and UMASS, a so-so Miami(Ohio), and FCS Bucknell. But they also beat Western Kentucky, Georgia State, Air Force, and Liberty, which all are going to bowl games. They are averaging 301 yards rushing per game and their option offense is more efficient than Navy. There is no doubting they are a better team in this game, but Navy will slow down Army, and their better schedule gives them a chance.

OVER/UNDER: 34.5 Combined Team Points In six of the last 12 meetings between these two rivals, the combined scores have been below 35 points, including last year’s 15-0 Army victory. It stands to reason that the game will be low-scoring because both teams run basically the same offense that the two defenses see every day in practice. In short there are no secrets. 35 points isn’t very much but we could see Army shutting down the Midshipmen. Very cautiously, we like OVER the combined totals.

POINT SPREAD: Army is a 7.5-point favorite Betting this spread, depends upon how much respect you have for Army and their recent history against Navy. Surprisingly to us, 12 of the last 21 games between these two, have been decided by more than 8 points. Army is the best team and they have the capability to cover the spread, but it is the ultimate rivalry game.


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