College Basketball Odds & Picks for Army vs. Navy on Saturday, Jan. 22
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- Army and Navy face off in a rivalry matchup.
- Is this spread too high in favor of Navy despite a solid non-conference slate?
- Ky McKeon breaks down where the value lies.
Army vs. Navy Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Though not as storied as its football rivalry, Army vs. Navy basketball always brings a good fight to the hardwood. Since 2001, the Sea Troops lead the series 25-19, but the Ground Troops won the last battle 87-78 at Navy on January 24, 2021.
Both teams come into this game tied for second at 5-2 in the Patriot League standings.
Army has had an up-and-down season. The Black Knights slightly underperformed preseason expectations in non-conference play, but are seemingly righting the ship in the Patriot.
At 10-6-1 ATS, Army is the best PL team against the number outside of Navy.
The road has been a struggle, though. While Army is a sparkling 7-1 ATS at home this season, it is just 3-5-1 ATS on the road with a -5.9 average cover margin.
Transition is the name of the game for Army. Per Hoop-Math, the Black Knights boast the 22nd highest percentage of FGA in transition. Head coach Jimmy Allen loves to run and has his Knights playing at the 35th-fastest tempo in the nation on the offensive end.
That will be hard to exploit against a very disciplined (shocking) Navy team. Per Hoop-Math, Navy allows the 24th-lowest percentage of FGA in transition this season. Per Synergy, the Midshipmen grade out in the 80th percentile in guarding in the open floor on a points per possession basis.
Army’s half-court attack has struggled this season. The Knights lack shooting and instead, rely on rim attacks and the free throw line to score points in the half-court.
Navy is the bigger team, but it’s been somewhat vulnerable in the middle this season, ranking just sixth in Patriot play in 2PFG% allowed. The Mids also rank second-to-last in FT rate allowed in conference play, which is bad news against an Army team that draws fouls at a high rate.
On the other side of the ball, Army is going to dare Navy to beat them via jumpers. Navy is shooting a scorching 40.2% from deep in Patriot play, but the Mids have the second-lowest 3PA rate in conference play.
They can shoot, but it isn’t necessarily the focal point of their offense. Army is far more concerned with walling off the paint and controlling the glass.
Navy’s offense is post-touch heavy, and John Carter Jr. heavy.
Carter Jr. and fellow wing Greg Summers control the ball often, but it’s forward Daniel Deaver who leads the team in assist rate. Deaver has been excellent at passing out of double-teams on the block or moving the ball on the perimeter.
Navy’s offense has usually suffered from poor shot selection. The Mids take a ton of 2-point jumpers and relatively few shots near the rim or from behind the arc. Basketball math tells us that’s bad, but thus far in conference play, the Mids have the second-best offense in the Patriot.
The primary driver of Navy’s relative offensive success is its ability to control the offensive glass and keep turnovers to a minimum. Army leads the league in defensive TO rate, but it’s hard to see Carter Jr. and Summers making too many mistakes.
As mentioned above, Army does well on the defensive glass, which is key to stopping the Navy attack.
Navy has faced some adversity lately after a very good non-conference performance and start to league play. The Mids’ recent home loss to Lehigh was both shocking and concerning. If that carries into this matchup at all, oddsmakers’ spreads are WAY too high.
Army vs. Navy Betting Pick
This game has almost always been within double-digits in recent years, and Army was the only team able to beat Navy last season in conference play. Thus, it stands to reason this spread is way too high.
Take Army and the points and hope for a highly-motivated road team looking to knock off its arch-rival.
Pick: Army +8.5
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