Tulane vs. Army Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions: Is the Wrong Team Favored?

Tulane vs. Army Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions: Is the Wrong Team Favored? article feature image
Credit:

Danny Wild, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Artice Hobbs

  • The betting odds for Tulane-Army are currently Tulane -2.5 after opening Tulane -1.
  • A low-scoring game is expected, with the over/under at 43.5.
  • Stuckey explains why he's seeing betting value in this matchup.

Tulane vs. Army Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: Tulane -2.5
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • Time: 12 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports Network
  • Location: West Point, NY

Odds as of Monday at 5:20 p.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).


Tulane at Army Line Movement

The comparison between the opening and current line hasn’t really told the whole betting market story here. Tulane sits at -2.5 after opening -1.5 and attracting just a 38% backing, which is certainly significant, but equally as noteworthy has been how the market reacted when the line reached and passed through 3.

While Army has been seeing the majority of tickets throughout the majority of the week, it really wasn’t until the spread got up to the key number that sportsbooks were convinced to reverse directions. On Thursday the market made its most recent move back inside a field goal to 2.5.

The movement and activity on the total has been more straightforward, as the number has fallen from 45 to 43.5 behind 71% of bets and 82% of money. — Danny Donahue

Stuckey: Why I’m High on Tulane

Those who listen to our podcast know I have been higher than the market on this Tulane team since the summer. There’s so much to love about the Green Wave. They have a terrific staff, an explosive offense, a heavy rushing attack, two dynamic receivers and a talented defensive front led by Patrick Johnson.

Some of the underlying metrics suggest some concern for the Tulane rush defense but I’m not buying it. Despite getting gashed by D’Eriq King on quarterback scrambles (which you won’t run into every week), Tulane has allowed just 3.9 yards per carry (43rd) and that’s also including a game with Auburn, which ran the ball 45 times for only 3.8 yards per carry. That’s impressive.

And if you remove those King runs, the average drops to 3.56 yards per carry, which would put the Green Wave into the top 25 nationally. And that’s exactly where they finished last year in defensive rushing efficiency (20th overall).

They were vulnerable to the explosive play against opposing backs, but that’s not that important against the Army’s efficient, yet non-explosive, rushing attack.

The two weakest areas of the Tulane defense are in the secondary and in allowing explosive runs. Those are two areas that Army can’t really exploit, as Army is averaging an NCAA-low 4.0 completions per game.

Almost the entire defensive line from last year came back and you can expect a stout rush defense once again.

Where this game fell on the Tulane schedule also couldn’t have worked out better as the Green Wave haven’t played since Sept. 19. That’s important for three reasons:

  • It gave them 16 days to prepare for the triple option
  • Allowed them to get fully healthy (320-pound DT Jeffery Johnson looks like he will play which is huge against Army)
  • They will come in rested and fresh on defense, which is critical against a ball control offense like Army that will keep a defense on the field forever in the hopes of eventually wearing them down late.

And it’s not like Tulane needed those 16 days to learn how to defend the option. It already has the luxury that other Army opponents don’t have: familiarity with defending the triple option.

First of all, Tulane’s defensive coordinator Jack Curtis actually had the same position for three years under current Army head coach Jeff Monken during their days of running the triple option at Georgia Southern.

Also, Tulane’s offense has utilized option principles for the past few years. It’s a different kind of option (spread option with zone blocking techniques), but their defense is at least familiar with seeing a variation of an option attack in practice.

And lastly, Tulane not only faces the Navy triple option every year in conference, they’ve played (and beat) Army twice in recent years (2015 and 2017). This staff knows how to prepare for an option attack, holding Navy to 117 yards on 45 carries last season.

Army is going to do what Army does and I’m sure it will sustain some drives eating up clock (these are two very run-heavy teams, so expect the clock to be moving throughout for those looking to bet the total), but I think this Tulane defense has the talent, familiarity and preparation time working in its favor this week which will lead to a few more stops than Army is able to get.

And a few of those may come in the red zone, where Tulane’s offense is ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Army’s secondary is uber-talented, led by star cornerback Elijah Riley and safety Jaylon McClinton. It’s an experienced group (although senior safety Cameron Jones will likely miss this game) that doesn’t get the credit it deserves but Tulane has an extremely explosive offense and will take shots to McCleskey and Mooney and will most likely connect on a few as we saw in the Houston game.

It won’t be easy, but there’s a lot working in Tulane’s favor this week. I like the Green Wave at a field goal or less.

The Pick: Tulane -3 or better

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