Navy vs Army Odds, Predictions | Your College Football Betting Preview

Navy vs Army Odds, Predictions | Your College Football Betting Preview article feature image

Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Army Black Knights offensive lineman Connor Finucane.

Navy vs Army Odds

Saturday, December 10
3:30 p.m. ET
Navy Odds
-105o / -115u
Army Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

There is no college football season that would be complete without the triple-option finale from our service academies. Army and Navy will meet for the 123rd time on Saturday, with the Midshipmen leading the series, 62-53-7.

The Black Knights were dominated in this series since the turn of the century, losing 14 straight leading up to the 2015 game. Army has won four of the last six heading into this weekend, as the Black Knights look to finish this season with a 6-6 record.

For the first time since 2016, the Commander-in-Chief's trophy will not be decided. Both Navy and Army suffered one-possession losses to Air Force earlier this season.

As for the budding rivalry between Army's Jeff Monken and Navy's Ken Niumatalolo, each head coach has each won four games in this series since their first meeting in 2014.

Navy Midshipmen

The Midshipmen will not make a bowl but did provide a few upsets during the season. Navy beat East Carolina and Central Florida outright, with one-possession losses to Notre Dame, SMU and Air Force.

Niumatalolo's triple-option flexbone continues to be a problem for opposing defenses that don't prepare for it in the summer. Navy runs plenty of 21 and 22 personnel, enabling multiple running backs and tight ends to set up the triple option inside and outside of the tackles.

Despite motion, pulling linemen and counter plays, it's the fullback dive that has been the crux of every opposing defense.

Midshipmen on the board with the 36-yard rush from Daba Fofana!#AmericanFB x

— American Football (@American_FB) November 12, 2022

Although quarterback Tai Lavatai had attempted 91 passing attempts, a season-ending injury has left Maasai Maynor and Xavier Arline with a heavier version of the ground game.

The quarterbacks combined for 11 passing attempts against Notre Dame on Nov. 12, but that fell to just one passing attempt in a victory over UCF the following week. The loss of Lavatai will limit Navy's passing attempts in long down and distances in this game.

Although ranks in Stuff Rate, Line Yards and efficiency against the run are important in college football handicapping, the Army-Navy game is all about defending the fullback dive in the "A" gap and keeping contain on the edge.

With both teams playing against the triple offense in Air Force, the handicap should weigh more around limiting the Falcons than the analytics.

The lone Air Force touchdown when it faced Navy came on a naked bootleg pass. Navy limited Air Force to 4.3 yards per rush. The Falcons hammered away on the right side of the offensive line, putting emphasis on the edge and defensive tackle over the right guard.

Navy defensive linemen Jacob Busic and Donald Berniard Jr. were targeted the most. Both players will be on Army's radar, as Nolan Barber and Justin Reed produced better grades against the rush, per PFF.

Army has 171 rushing attempts on the season off the right tackle — nearly double the number off the left tackle and by far more than all other zones of the rush attack. If the Midshipmen are successful in producing stops on the right side of the trench, Navy will be victorious in the 123rd version of this game.

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Army Black Knights

The Black Knights will have a positive second-order win total heading into 2023, as three of their six losses came within one possession.

A crucial loss to Air Force can be attributed to a dreadful triple-option attack against the Falcons defense. Army gained just 78 yards on 35 attempts, with nearly every attempt coming from a quarterback keeper.

Jemel Jones has been crucial in Army's victories but failed to generate any rush over nine yards against Air Force.

Jemel Jones’ 6th TD of season, gives #ArmyFootball 7-3

— Sal Interdonato (@salinterdonato) November 5, 2022

Navy's ability to defend the quarterback in the triple option is the biggest factor when Army's offense takes the field. Jones logged 14 passing attempts against the Air Force defense, accounting for 37% of his season total.

If Navy is successful in keeping Jones off the edge or through the center-guard gap, Army will take to the skies against the Midshipmen secondary.

The Black Knights defense has consistently struggled throughout the season. Army sits bottom-20 in FBS in terms of Success Rate against the rush, Havoc and Line Yards.

When defending Air Force's triple option, the Black Knights shut down the rushing attack in the first half. The Falcons posted a large turnaround in the second half with a 59% Success Rate on the ground while also connecting on a few explosive pass plays.

The Army defense tightened up when Air Force found scoring opportunities. In five drives extending past the 40-yard line, the Falcons scored just 13 total points. Army enters the game with a mid-FBS ranking in Finishing Drives, improving to top-30 in defensive red-zone efficiency.

Navy vs Army Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Navy and Army match up statistically:

Navy Offense vs Army Defense
Rush Success95126
Line Yards115124
Pass Success130108
Pass Blocking**13199
Finishing Drives8268
** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)

Army Offense vs Navy Defense
Rush Success2114
Line Yards105
Pass Success127109
Pass Blocking**12584
Finishing Drives1680
** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling10585
PFF Coverage12933
SP+ Special Teams10495
Seconds per Play29.7 (124)30.5 (128)
Rush Rate84.2% (3)86.7% (2)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics

Navy vs Army Betting Pick

No college football consumer is investing in this game without the under trend at the forefront of the betting process.

The under has cashed in 16 straight years, but the trend started with lines posted over 50. At the current number of 32.5, more than half of the 16 games would have gone over the total. For the trend to break in this instance, a number of events must occur.

The Army defense has been stout in the red zone, an area the Navy offense has struggled in with a rank outside the top 100 in touchdown rate.

An over bettor may also need the luxury of overtime, as seven of the last 11 games in this series have been decided by one possession. A current overtime prop sits at 6-1, which is worth a flier for any bettor holding an under ticket.

The coin flip is crucial to who will get the ball first in this game. Monken has positioned himself with the most "Middle 8" opportunities this year, having the defense on the field in the first possession nine of the last 11 games.

With the Army defense playing its best football in the red zone, a recommended prop on Navy's first score to be a field goal at +250 must be considered.

The projection on this game is a pick'em, giving value to an Army number that has been steamed on the Midshipmen. Navy moved from a 2.5-point underdog to the favorite of the same amount.

Expect Jones to attempt plenty of quarterback keepers through the right side of the Army offensive line, a similar strategy employed by Air Force. Army has been the better team on the season from an offensive and defensive perspective in regard to third-down and red-zone attempts.

As far as America's favorite bet on the under in this game, a live wagering situation may present an opportunity after a few scoreless drives. The key numbers in this range that hit in more than 1.2% of college football games include 31, 30 and 27.

From a live wagering perspective, any total at 27 or better deserves a look — and hopefully, it'll follow a similar path to last year's 17-13 game.

Pick: Army +2.5 · Overtime +600 · Navy 1st Score To Be a FG +250

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