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Army-Navy Game Preview: Live Odds and Best Bets

Nicholas Berault
Written by Nicholas Berault
December 5, 2023
Army-Navy Game Preview Live Odds and Best Bets

If there’s a college football season that has prepared fans better to watch two service academies run the triple-option in a low-scoring effort, we’d like to know. The saga of Iowa football’s dubious, historically poor scoring year has paved the way for a new lowest total in the 124th Army-Navy Game: 28 points.

The meeting of the Midshipmen and Cadets in 2022 produced some notable milestones. From a historical perspective, the teams played the first overtime game in their lengthy rivalry. Seven games have ended in ties previously, with the most recent occurring during a 3-3 result in 1981.

For bettors, 2022’s game may be remembered as the long-awaited reversal of the point total going under in this matchup. From 2006 to 2021, the Under cashed 16 straight times. Hundreds of future Army and Navy officers have shared the field year after year, grinding out rushing yards, refusing to cede territory on third downs, and ultimately producing a final score under the total. The teams combined for 17 of the 37 total points in overtime last year to end the streak.

In 2023, Army and Navy will miss out on bowl games since the field is already set. Knowing this, the stakes attached to this game rely on the burning desire of both programs to earn the lifelong bragging rights that come with a victory.

The American Athletic Conference will be the home of these football teams beginning in the 2024 season, which makes an unprecedented scenario possible: If Army and Navy rise to the top of the conference standings next year or beyond, they could conceivably face one another twice in a row in the same season for this annual rivalry renewal and then for an AAC championship.

Before that happens, we have a game to settle this Saturday. Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA will host for the first time, and Army is favored by 3 points after their upset win last year. The previous two times either school has been favored by less than a field goal (2017, 2022), the underdog won.

Best Bet: Navy +3

  • Navy’s run defense is significantly better than Army’s. The Midshipmen rank 29th in yards per rush allowed and 30th in opponent rushing yards per game, compared to the Black Knights allowing the 14th-most yards per carry and 18th-most rush yards per game.
  • Navy’s defense matched Penn State as the only schools to record three shutouts this season.
  • Navy ranks second in the country in takeaways per game (2.2) and has limited turnovers better than 110+ other teams (1.0 per game).
  • Army turns the ball over twice per game, ranking 128th in FBS.
  • Navy averages the fewest defensive penalties and penalty yards per game of any FBS program.
  • The Mids have a slight edge in net yards per play this season.

Best Bet: UNDER 28.5

  • Both teams are top-five in rushing attempts per game: Army is 3rd (47.9), and Navy is 5th (46.6).
  • Neither school ranks in the top 115 in the country in offensive plays per game.
  • Army (123rd) and Navy (132nd) are among the worst teams in the country at converting first downs. Only Iowa moves the sticks fewer times per game than the Midshipmen this season.
  • 2004-05 was the last time that the Over cashed in back-to-back years within this rivalry.
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