The Navy at Army pick will have to share the spotlight in this COVID filled season, but the excitement is still there for this great rivalry. Unlike in previous years where the game was held at a neutral site, the virus has also given Army a home game in this matchup, with the tilt being held at Mitchie Stadium in West Point, NY (3:00 PM ET, CBS).
Navy may have gotten the 31-7 win over Army last season as -11.5 favorites, but the Midshipmen come into the 2020 meeting on a four game losing streak. Navy has put up just 13 total points the last two games, and are set to face a Black Knights squad that is 7-2 on the year, including 6-0 at home. Army is a -7.5 favorite on Saturday, and had won three straight in the series prior to 2019.
Can Navy Get Out of Their Rut?
Ken Niumatalolo is hoping that the excitement of Army-Navy can help get his Midshipmen squad out of their recent funk. Navy has dropped four straight, but they’ve also been at least a +12 underdog in each of those tilts. It’s the 10-7 loss to Memphis and the 19-6 defeat to Tulsa the last two weeks that makes it look like Navy has shut things down for the year – at least on offense.
Navy did amass 233 yards on the ground in the loss to Memphis but were held to just 126 yards on 53 carries last week against Tulsa. Army has one of the best run defenses in the country, allowing only 119 ypg on the ground. What makes things tough for the Midshipmen in the Navy at Army pick is that the Black Knights are also great vs. the pass, ranking 7th in the country giving up only 170.3 ypg.
Expect a down day for the Navy offense, as they can’t decide on a QB with freshman Xavier Arline and Sr. Dalen Morris both taking snaps against Tulsa last week – even though the Midshipmen threw just 10 total passes. Navy ranks 118th in the country, scoring only 18.6 points per game.
Army Set to Shine on Historic Day?
The Army-Navy game always has a bit of an extra edge, but this is the first time a school has had a home game in the series since World War II (1943). With a win on Saturday and then a victory over Air Force next week, Army can win the Commander in Chief’s Trophy for the third time in the last four years so this tilt has incentive for the Black Knights.
Don’t expect a lot of offense in this matchup, as Navy rarely passes and Army has only thrown the ball 67 times all season. The betting total is just 36 points, which almost seems like a play on the over just because that number is so low. 3 of the last 5 meetings between the two have gone ‘over’ the total, including Navy’s 31-7 win in the series last year.
The Army defense allowed 395 yards on the ground last year, but the good news for the Black Knights is that Malcolm Perry isn’t walking through that door on Saturday. Perry carried the ball 29 times for 304 yards in last year’s tilt, and had 2,017 yards and 21 TD last season. Navy’s leading rusher Nelson Smith has just 622 yards this year.
Free Navy at Army Pick
The line has moved from Army -5.5 to Army -7.5, and the hook looms large in this one. Five straight games were decided by a TD or less prior to Navy’s 31-7 win last season. Speaking of that Midshipmen victory, it’s the driving force behind a huge Army win on Saturday, especially playing at home which is a rare occasion in this series.
Army 28 – Navy 10
Free Pick: Army -7.5