College Football Betting Picks: Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen

Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saturday, December 14, 2013, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Navy -10
Current Line: Navy -13
Opening Total: 55
Current Total: 54 
Opening Money Line: Navy -400 / Army +325
Current Money Line: Navy -500 / Army +400

Navy is a 13 point favorite against rival Army Saturday in Philadelphia. The Midshipmen have beaten the Black Knights 11 straight times.
Navy is a 13 point favorite against rival Army Saturday in Philadelphia. The Midshipmen have beaten the Black Knights 11 straight times.

The Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen meet for the 114th time Saturday in Philadelphia to close out college football’s regular season. Navy leads the series 57-49-7 against Army, and Navy has won 11 straight games in the series.

The 7-4 Navy Midshipmen can clinch their second straight Commander-In- Chief’s Trophy with a win and ninth in the last eleven seasons. The Midshipmen have already clinched a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee in Fort Worth December 30. If 3-8 Army wins the three service academies will split the trophy but Navy will retain it.   Navy beat Air Force 28-10 in Annapolis, but Air Force beat Army 42-28 in Colorado Springs.

Army is coached by Rich Ellerson. The Black Knights have home wins over Morgan State 28-12 and Eastern Michigan 50-25, along with a win over Lousiana Tech 35-16 in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Army has lost 4 straight games since the Eastern Michigan win. The Black Knights have home losses to Stanford 34-20, Wake Forest 25-11, and Western Kentucky 21-17, along with road losses at Ball State 40-14, Boston College 48-27, Temple 33-14, Air Force and two weeks ago at Hawaii 49-42. Army is 4-7 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season. The Black Knights were 5.5 point underdogs at Hawaii and the total was 61.5.

Hawaii came into the Army game with an 0-11 record. The Warriors quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead against Army and would lead 28-7 at halftime. The Black Knights opened the third quarter with 3 straight touchdowns to tie the score at 28. Hawaii would score 2 touchdowns before the end of the third to make it 42-28. The two teams traded touchdowns to start the fourth. Army would pull within 49-42 with 2:30 left. Hawaii recovered the onside kick, but Army would get one more chance with 24 seconds left at their own five yard line. The Black Knights only got to the 18 before time ran out. The Warriors had 608 total yards including 323 passing and 285 rushing yards. Army had 406 total yards including 254 rushing yards. The Black Knights had two turnovers. Hawaii was able to overcome 11 penalties for 127 yards and 3 turnovers.

Army is being outscored 31-26 this season. The Black Knights are #85 in scoring and #93 in points allowed nationally out of 125 FBS teams. Army is averaging 406.5 yards per game including 80.5 passing and 325.9 rushing yards. The Black Knights are #2 in rushing nationally but last in passing. On defense, Army is allowing 417.1 total yards per game including 215 passing and 202.1 rushing yards. The Black Knights are #34 in pass defense and #100 in rush defense nationally. Army is +3 in turnovers with 17 takeaways. The Black Knights average 31 penalty yards per game and opponents average 51. Army is 84/180 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 68/145. The Black Knights have forced 16 sacks this season and allowed 17. Army is 35/40 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns and opponents are 40/47 with 32 touchdowns. The Black Knights have allowed one fumble return for a touchdown.

Army has used three quarterbacks this season. Angel Santiago has completed 49.4% of his passes for 542 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception, along with 161 carries for 553 yards and 9 touchdowns. A.J. Schurr has thrown for 196 yards and a touchdown, and also has 28 carries for 105 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kelvin White has thrown for 143 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, along with 26 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown. Santiago takes most of the snaps. Schurr returned from an injury against Hawaii after missing the previous six games. White hasn’t played in the last three games.

Running back Terry Baggett has 130 carries for 1,072 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 123 yards. Larry Dixon has 102 carries for 672 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 48 yards. Trenton Turrentine has 56 carries for 376 yards and 2 touchdowns. Matt Giachinta has 2 rushing touchdowns. Fullback Hayden Tippett is questionable with an ankle injury. He has 139 rushing yards and 2 catches. Receiver Xavier Moss has 30 catches for 413 yards and a touchdown. Chevaughn Lawrence and Anthony Stephens each have 10 catches.

Navy is coached by Ken Niumatalolo. The Midshipmen have home wins over Delaware 51-7, Air Force 28-10, Pittsburgh 24-21, Hawaii 42-28, and South Alabama 42-14. Navy has  road wins at Indiana 41-35 and three weeks ago at San Jose State 58-52 in triple overtime. The Midshipmen have road losses at Western Kentucky 19-7, Duke 35-7, Toledo 45-44 in double overtime, and Notre Dame 38-34. Navy has won three straight games since then. The Midshipmen are 8-3 ATS and the total is 5-6 this season. Navy was a 1 point underdog against San Jose State and the total was 60.5.

San Jose State took a 16-10 lead at halftime against Navy. The Midshipmen scored two straight touchdowns to open the third quarter and took a 24-16 lead. The Spartans would score late in the third to make it 24-22, but they missed the two point conversion that would have tied it up. San Jose State briefly took a 30-24 lead early in the fourth, but Navy would regain the lead 31-30 less than 2 minutes later, The Midshipmen would add another touchdown with 2;38 left to make it 38-30. The Spartans scored on the last play of regulation and had to make a two point conversion to tie the score and send it into overtime. The Spartans would be successful.

Each team scored a touchdown in their first two overtime possessions. In the third overtime, the Spartans drove to the Navy 3 but threw an interception in the end zone. Navy would score the game winning touchdown on the next play on a 25 yard run from quarterback Keenan Reynolds to take a wild 58-52 victory. it was the 7th rushing touchdown of the game for Reynolds who also threw a touchdown. Navy had 478 total yards including 432 rushing yards. San Jose State had 600 total yards including 440 passing yards. The Spartans had the only two turnovers of the game, along with 51 penalty yards.

Navy is outscoring teams 34-28 this season. Navy is #32 in scoring nationally.  The Midshipmen are averaging 420.9 yards per game on offense including the nation’s third leading rushing attack at 322 yards per game. Passing is an after thought at best and Navy is #124 in passing out of 125 FBS teams at 98.9 yards per game. On defense, the Middies are allowing 419.6 yards per game including 230.8 passing and 188.8 rushing yards. Navy is #84 in total defense and #87 in rush defense nationally. Navy is +9 in turnovers with 17 takeaways. Navy averages 23 penalty yards per game and opponents average 49. The Midshipmen are 92/168 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 91/189. Navy is 46/51 scoring in the red zone with 38 touchdowns and opponents are 32/41 with 29 touchdowns. The Midshipmen have forced 10 sacks and allowed 18 this season. Navy has allowed one defensive touchdown this season.

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds has completed 55.3% of his passes for 1,028 yards with 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 250 carries, 1,124 yards and 26 touchdowns. Back-up John Hendrick has thrown for 60 yards with 2 interceptions, and also has a rushing touchdown.

Fullback Chris Swain has 96 carries, 373 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hamstring injury and missed the San Jose State game. Running back Darius Staten has 32 carries, 364 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 5 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Geoffrey Whiteside has 39 carries, 298 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown. Quinton Singleton has 54 carries, 273 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus a catch. Noah Copeland has 53 carries, 226 yards and a touchdown, plus 3 catches, 43 yards and a touchdown.  DeBrandon Sanders has 35 carries for 274 yards and 11 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Casey Bolena has 13 catches for 164 yards. Matt Aiken has 8 catches for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. Two offensive linemen are listed on the injury report for Navy.

Army is 5-1 ATS after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 4-1 after failing to cover, and in December, 10-3 after allowing more than 40 points, 4-9 against teams with winning records, and against independent teams, 6-21 after a bye week, 1-4 after scoring more than 40 points, and after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 1-5 on grass, and 0-4 after allowing more than 450 total yards. The last seven games in this series have gone under the total. The designated road team team is 4-1 ATS in the last five in this series, but they always play at a neutral location.

Navy is 4-0 ATS after allowing 450 total yards or more, 5-1 after rushing for more than 200 yards, overall, and after passing for less than 170 yards, 4-1 after scoring more than 40 points, 6-2 after allowing more than 40 points, 5-2 after a straight up win, and after gaining more than 450 total yards, 2-6 against teams with losing records, 1-4 against independent teams, 0-4 in December, and 0-5 after a bye week.

Both Navy and Army run the ball really well, as you might expect from triple option teams. Neither can stop the run either. This has the potential to be a high scoring game, but recently the under has has been trending in this series. Keenan Reynolds is the best player on the field for either team. He will be the difference as Navy win for the 12th straight time against their rivals. Army keeps it closer than the 13 point spread though.

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