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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, December 12, 2014 at 7:00 AM

They should probably start calling it the Navy/Army game given the Midshipmen’s dominance in the current era of this classic college football rivalry. It’s gotten to the point that you know Navy is going to win straight up. All that’s left to determine is whether or not Army can hang tough and make it interesting.

The Black Knights have done just that in two of the last three seasons…

2013: Navy (-14) beat Army 34-7

2012: Army (+6) covered in a 17-13 loss

2011: Army (+7) covered in a 27-21 loss

You’ll note though that Army could stay close when the market perceived them as being within a TD of Navy talent-wise. It got ugly last year when the programs veered apart again, looking much more like the 34-0 and 38-3 games of ’07 and ’08?

Does Army have a chance as a two-touchdown underdog this year? Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about that.


Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)

Army: 4-7 (#127 schedule in USA Today)

Navy: 6-5 (#77 schedule in USA Today)

Navy has the better record against the tougher schedule. It’s worth remembering that Navy has softened its schedule in recent seasons…and probably isn’t as good this season as some of their other squads you’re remembering in. Army was a disaster considering how much they softened their schedule. You REALLY have to be bad to go 4-7 against a schedule of non-entities. Army lost to Yale for goodness sake. The market looks to be in line with Jeff Sagarin’s publicly available material posted in USA Today.



Army: 5.7 on offense, 6.7 on defense

Navy: 6.7 on offense, 5.9 on defense

Big edge here, and possibly blowout material. Army had a pathetic defense while facing a very weak schedule. Even though they should be very familiar with the offense Navy runs, they probably don’t have the athletes to do much about it on the current roster. Navy projects to gain over 7.0 yards-per-play once you factor in strength of schedule adjustments.


Turnover Differential

Army: +2

Navy: -3

But this category could slow down the big favorite enough to bring the pointspread into play. Navy has a negative turnover differential…despite running a “safe” offense…against a poor schedule. It’s tough to win blowouts if you lose the turnover category in the boxscore. Frankly, Army NEEDS to win this category by a couple to have any chance of springing an upset and ending their long losing streak. They’ll probably need at least +1 to cover the spread.


Market Performance

Army: 4-7 ATS

Navy: 5-6 ATS

Both teams have been disappointments against expectations. And, it’s not like these are public teams that generate misleading prices. Tough to invest in either won Saturday with real confidence based on what we’ve seen. If you are fairly sure that Navy can avoid turnovers, then asking them to score enough to cover seems reasonable based on the YPP data. Can they avoid turnovers?


Current Line: Navy by 14.5, total of 57.5

Tough call here based on the data. JIM HURLEY will work very closely with his full team of experts to try to find the right side or total. It’s certainly possible as of press-time that this will be a pass given the indicators. If you do see notices about a major release on game-day, that will likely have been triggered by on-site information from a trusted source, or by developments uncovered by our Wise Guy connections.

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We’ll talk about a huge college basketball matchup tomorrow in the NOTEBOOK…and then a football barrage begins with NFL and some early looks at bowl action…

Saturday: College Hoops TV Preview…North Carolina at Kentucky

Sunday: NFL TV Preview…Dallas at Philadelphia on NBC

Monday: NFL TV Preview…New Orleans at Chicago on ESPN

Tuesday: Early Look…Nevada vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in New Orleans Bowl

Wednesday: Early Look…Utah State vs. UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl

Thursday: NFL TV Preview…Tennessee at Jacksonville on the NFL Network

Friday: Early Look…Utah vs. Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl

Fasten your seat belts fans…we’re about to begin a wild, MONEY-MAKING ride through the most exciting part of the football schedule. Your guide down THE ROAD TO RICHES…as always…will be JIM HURLEY!


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