Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Army-Navy is rarely one of the most exciting football games of the year, but its rightful spot as the grand finale of college football’s regular season gives sports fans a chance to pay tribute to some of the best young men this nation has to offer.
For sports bettors in Las Vegas, the game has always represented one last chance to build college football bankroll before the bowls get started. That makes it matter a lot because every dollar won Saturday can multiply itself over several times between now and the BCS Championship a week into January.
It’s best to focus on recent form when handicapping late season games. Let’s take a look at what both Army and Navy have done over their last six games heading into this classic rivalry showdown…
ARMY’S LAST SIX GAMES
Army (+12) lost at Boston College 48-27 (losing yardage 427-523)
Army (-8) beat Eastern Michigan 50-25 (winning yardage 551-417)
Army (pick-em) lost at Temple 33-14 (losing yardage 338-361)
Army (pick-em) lost at Air Force 42-28 (losing yardage 417-454)
Army (+5) lost to Western Kentucky 21-17 (winning yardage 347-334)
Army (+5) lost at Hawaii 49-42 (losing yardage 406-608)
That’s mostly a list of disappointments, though the Cadets did cover against Eastern Michigan and Western Kentucky. The loss at Hawaii was particularly bad because it was Hawaii’s only win this season. Army couldn’t match up physically with the only team from a major conference (BC). They played two straight games that were supposed to be toss-ups…but lost by 33 combined points while getting outgained both times. Based only on recent form, it’s very tough to like Army’s chances to play 60 full minutes of competitive football on Saturday.
NAVY’S LAST SIX GAMES
Navy (+9) lost at Toledo in overtime 45-44 (winning yardage 514-426)
Navy (+5) beat Pittsburgh 24-21 (losing yardage 325-388)
Navy (+15) lost at Notre Dame 38-34 (losing yardage 419-506)
Navy (-17) beat Hawaii 42-28 (losing yardage 442-464)
Navy (-6) beat South Alabama 42-14 (wining yardage 519-300)
Navy (+2) won at San Jose State 58-52 in overtime (losing yardage 478-600)
That’s a much tougher schedule than Army had, and Navy was more successful. What a horrible job by oddsmakers! Navy covered in regulation by 9, 8, 11, 22, and 2 in their five covers. The non-cover vs. Hawaii was understandable because it was in a letdown spot right after the heartbreaking straight up loss against Notre Dame. This was a very good team by mid-major standards down the stretch. Keep in mind that it’s mostly a bowl caliber slate, even if not everybody on the list ended up getting invitations.
Helpful to note for handicappers…the two worst defensive yardage games for Navy came against teams who can pass the ball. Army is an option team that can’t pass.
What we’ve seen so far strongly favors Navy. Let’s see what Vegas has posted at the moment.
Current Vegas Line: Navy by 13, total of 53.5
Navy is an obvious favorite, but not by so much that it’s a hurdle they can’t clear.
The case for Army:
*They’ll get sky high for a huge rivalry game
*They’re very familiar with Navy’s schematics because they play a similar style
*Navy could be flat as a big favorite that’s already locked into a bowl
*This is Army’s bowl game!
*Army could come through the back door if Navy relaxes with a lead
The case for Navy:
*They’re the much better team
*They’ve REALLY been much better down the stretch
*It’s harder for Army to score in garbage time with such a bad passing offense
JIM HURLEY knows how important this game is to sports bettors. You can purchase the winner right here at the website Saturday morning before kickoff. To make the most of this big sports weekend, try out some of our NBA and college basketball too!
Friday NBA: we’re looking at Knicks/Celtics, Lakers/Thunder, Timberwolves/Spurs, and Rockets/Warriors.
Saturday College Hoops: How about Arizona/Michigan, Notre Dame/Indiana, and Kentucky/North Carolina highlighting a huge basketball card?!
That will all lead up to another great Sunday of NFL action. Call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 if you have any questions about this weekend or combination packages for football and basketball that take you through the college bowls, NFL playoffs, and March Madness.
Back Sunday to preview the Cincinnati/Pittsburgh game that will be nationally televised in prime time by NBC. Then, on Monday, we’ll crunch some numbers in Baltimore/Detroit on ESPN.
Pay tribute to the athletes of Army and Navy Saturday…and remember that the Commander-in-Chief of Las Vegas betting is JIM HURLEY!