Air Force vs. Navy Betting Odds, Pick: Under or Nothing in Colorado Springs (Saturday, Oct. 3)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Dalen Morris.
- There’s a trend for games between service academies to always come in under the total.
- Will this Navy-Air Force game be any different? Stuckey takes a look and previews the matchup.
Air Force vs. Navy Odds
|Air Force Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Navy Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+210/-265 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||48 [BET NOW]|
|Time||6 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
I wasn’t sure what to make of Navy’s season-opening stinker, when BYU absolutely rolled by a final score of 55-3. Apparently, the Midshipmen didn’t practice tackling before that game, and it showed.
Things didn’t get much better in the first half in the following game, when Navy went into halftime down 24-0 against Tulane. Something clicked in the second half, though, as Navy stormed back to win outright, 27-24, behind an impressive effort from its defense and fullbacks.
Coming back from a 24-0 deficit is impressive for any team, but it is especially noteworthy for a triple-option offense that generally takes so much time off the clock on each possession.
It’s also worth noting that Navy has apparently found its quarterback. After rotating between Dalen Morris and Perry Olsen against BYU, the job is now Morris’ after Olsen transferred following the loss. Morris brings a rare passing element to Navy’s offense with an impressive arm as a pro-style quarterback. He actually took a visit to Alabama before committing to the Midshipmen.
On the other side of the ball, the Navy linebackers are the heart of the defense, led by junior Diego Fagot. The defensive line does have some question marks, having been pushed around by BYU and Tulane through the first six quarters of the season. Their performance will obviously be crucial against Air Force’s triple-option attack.
Air Force Falcons
While Navy has two games under its belt, this will mark Air Force’s 2020 debut. We’ve seen plenty of teams struggle in their first game this season, so the difference in game experience could loom large.
Air Force will at least be extremely familiarity with Navy’s offense, and they do have some tape to go off during an extremely long preparation period ahead of this matchup.
However, it’s hard to know what we’re going to get from Air Force here. Projected starting quarterback Donald Hammond no longer remains in good standing with the Academy. On the initial depth chart, sophomore Haaziq Daniels and junior Warren Bryan were both listed with an “OR” designation, so it’s safe to assume both will get some run against Navy.
Also, 40 players received administrative turnbacks in order to gain another semester of eligibility, which they did when it was assumed the Mountain West would not play football this fall. (The conference has since reversed course and decided to play in 2020.)
So, which unit got hit the hardest by these turnbacks? The defense by far, which was already projected to lose six of its top seven tacklers from a year ago. Now, five of the eligible returning starters won’t play on Saturday due to the turnbacks. As a result, four freshmen sit on the two-deep of a very inexperienced Air Force defense.
That means the Falcons will have zero returning starters on defense from the team that won 11 games in 2019.
In contrast, the offense didn’t take any major hits due to turnbacks. Air Force still has some horses on its offensive line that could generate some major holes for tailback Kadin Remsberg and fullback Timothy Jackson.
Left guard Nolan Laufenberg and left tackle Parker Ferguson are among the best offensive linemen in the country and make up a dominant duo on the left side of the Air Force offensive line. This offense could be very good once again if someone emerges as the starting quarterback.
>> Sign up for The Action Network’s daily newsletter to get the smartest NCAAF conversation delivered into your inbox each morning.
It’s two service academies playing each other, which means you have to immediately look at the under. Why? Well, both teams practice all year against the triple option, so they know how to defend it — unlike most teams who will face the service academies. Also, possessions are limited and the clock is constantly moving with two rush-heavy offenses that will happily go for it in a fourth-and-1 situation from anywhere on the field.
Since 2005, games involving two of the three service academy teams have gone 35-9-1 to the under. That’s an insane clip of just under 80%!
There are reasons to be a bit hesitant about this under with the uncertainty surrounding Air Force’s defense that returns zero starters. Also, Navy seems like it will pass a bit more with Morris under center.
It’s very difficult to make a line for this game with so much uncertainty about Air Force at quarterback and on defense. Oddsmakers seemed to struggle as well, opening this game at Air Force -1 before moving it to Navy -7 — presumably after early money came in on the Midshipmen. On Friday afternoon, it was at -6.5 for Navy.
I want no part of this side at Navy -7. In regards to the total, I wouldn’t fault anyone for simply backing the under trend, even with some of the increased risk in this particular matchup. Under or nothing in Colorado Springs on Saturday.