College Football Betting Preview: Army and Navy Meet for 112th Time

Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen
FedEx Field – Landover, Maryland
Saturday, December 10, 2011, 2:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Navy -7
Current Line: Navy -7
Opening Total: 57
Current Total: 58
Opening Money Line: Navy -275 / Army +235
Current Money Line: Navy -270 / Army +230

The 112th edition of the Army-Navy game is set to take place on Saturday at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Navy is a 7 point favorite.

Though Army is 3-8 this season and Navy is 4-7, the records don’t really matter in this game. The Army Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen meet for the 112th time Saturday in Landover, Maryland. It is the first time they two rivals have met in the Washington DC area, and FedEx Field is the 16th stadium to host the game. Navy has dominated the series recently winning 9 straight games, and 12 of the last 14. Navy leads the overall series 55-49-7. Army has lost 12 straight games to service academy rivals Air Force and Navy. The Black Knights are coached by Rich Ellerson, and Navy is coached by Ken Niumatalolo. Ironically both coaches graduated from Hawaii, Ellerson in 1977 and Niumatalolo in 1989.

Army hasn’t played in 3 weeks. The Black Knights were 12.5 point underdogs at Temple November 19 on the college football betting line. Temple jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back en route to a 42-14 win. Army had 368 total yards including 340 rushing yards. Army completed 2 passes for 26 yards. Army quarterback Max Jenkins had one completion for 21 yards and an interception. He did have 27 rushing yards and a touchdown run though. Back-up Angel Santiago also took some snaps and completed a pass for 7 yards and rushed for 11 yards. Running back Larry Dixon rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown. The Jenkins interception was the only turnover of the game for either team. Temple had 414 total yards including 335 rushing yards.

Army averages 398.9 yards a game. The Black Knights have the number #1 rushing offense in the country averaging 350.9 yards a game, but have worst passing offense averaging 48 yards a game. Army scores 25.2 points a game. The Black Knights have 23 turnovers and have allowed 10 sacks this season. Army is 84/180 on third and fourth down conversions, and 34/44 scoring in the red zone with 31 touchdowns. On defense, Army allows 363.8 yards and 28.4 points a game. The Black Knights have the #13 passing defense allowing 178.1 passing yards a game, but the rush defense is #92 allowing 185.7 yards a game. Army has forced 15 turnovers and 16 sacks this season. Black Knight opponents are 65/134 on third and fourth down conversions, and 33/37 scoring in the red zone with 28 touchdowns. Army has 2 defensive touchdowns this season.

Army quarterback Trent Steelman has missed the last 4 games with an ankle injury, but is listed as probable for the Navy game. Steelman is 20/39 passing (51.3% completion) for 347 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He also has 120 carries, 583 yards, and 11 touchdowns. If Steelman can’t go, Jenkins and Santiago will split the snaps. Jenkins is 6/31 passing for 97 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 33 carries for 119 yards and 4 touchdowns. Santiago is 7/21 passing for 84 yards, along with 45 carries, 162 yards, and a touchdown. Running back Raymond Maples has 133 carries, 984 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Malcolm Brown has 70 carries, 490 yards, and 2 touchdowns, along with 6 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown catch. Dixon has 77 carries, 477 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Jarred Hassin has 94 carries, 443 yards, and a touchdown. Five other Army players have at least one rushing touchdown. Army has 33 rushing touchdowns on the season. Receiver Davyd Brooks has 8 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Alex Carlton is 30/35 on extra points and 3/6 on field goals with a long of 23 yards. Four Army defensive players are listed as questionable or out for the Navy game.

Navy also hasn’t played since November 19. The Midshipmen were 6 point favorites at San Jose St. The Spartans took a 10-0 lead in the first. Navy scored 2 touchdowns to open the second quarter and took a 14-10 lead. San Jose St scored 10 in a row to take a 20-14 lead at halftime. The Midshipmen scored 10 straight to take a 24-20 lead going into the fourth, but the Spartans scored on the first play of the quarter to lead 27-24. Neither team scored for the rest of the game. Navy drove deep into San Jose territory two times in the fourth but turned it over on downs both times. The Spartans had 2 turnovers and Navy had 1. Navy had 344 total yards including 254 rushing yards. Navy quarterback Kriss Proctor threw for 90 yards, and rushed for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Aaron Santiago had 6 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. San Jose St had 465 total yards including 345 passing yards.

Navy averages 406.1 yards a game including the #4 rushing attack with 313.7 yards  a game. The passing game is the second worst in the country, ahead of only Army, with 92.4 yards a game. Navy scores 29.9 points a game. Navy has 13 turnovers and has allowed 12 sacks this season. The Midshipmen are 88/185 on third and fourth down conversions, and 33/43 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns. Navy gives up 417.4 yards a game including 240.5 passing yards, and 176.8 rushing yards a game. The Midshipmen give up 29.6 points a game. Navy has forced 21 turnovers and 13 sacks this season. Navy opponents are 81/155 on third and fourth down conversions, and 42/52 scoring in the red zone with 38 touchdowns. Navy has 2 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.

Proctor is 51/100 passing (51% completions, surprisingly enough) for 774 yards with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Proctor is also the leading rusher for the Midshipmen with 179 carries, 817 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Back-up Trey Miller has only thrown 29 passes but does have 3 touchdown passes, plus he has 49 carries for 150 yards. Running back Alexander Teich has 168 carries, 790 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 25 yards. Gee Gee Greene has 57 carries, 455 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 10 catches, 152 yards, and 4 touchdowns. John Howell has 34 catches, 336 yards, and 5 touchdowns, and 4 catches for 96 yards. Santiago has has 27 carries, 230 yards, and and 3 touchdowns, along with 3 catches for 55 yards, and a touchdown. Delvin Diggs has 33 carries, 161 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Mike Stukel also has 2 touchdown runs. Receiver Brandon Turner has 14 catches, 300 yards, and 3 interceptions. Matt Aiken has 13 catches, 201 yards, and 2 touchdowns, plus 5 rushes for 88 yards. Kicker Jon Teague is 39/43 on extra points and 8/13 on extra points with a long of 54 yards.

Navy is 6-5 against the spread this season and the total is also 6-5 this season. Army is 5-6 ATS and the total is 6-5 this season. Navy is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 against Army and the last 5 games have gone under the total. The Black Knights are 5-0 ATS after allowing 40 points or more, 9-20-1 as an underdog of 3.5-10 points, 3-7 in December, 2-6 in neutral site games, and as a neutral site underdog, including 1-5 as an underdog of 3.5-10 points, 1-5 after scoring 20 points or less, and on grass. The Midshipmen are 4-1 ATS as a favorite of 3.5-10 points, 6-2 after failing to cover, 10-4 in December, 7-3 as a neutral site favorite, 13-6 in neutral site games, 3-7 after a straight up loss, and against teams with losing records, and 1-4 as a favorite.

These two teams are the two worst teams as far as throwing the ball in the country, but passing is an afterthought in the triple option offense that both schools run. Navy is slightly better at throwing than Navy so they have a little more balance on offense. Ironically, both teams struggle to stop the run. You would think since the defenses face strong rushing attacks every day in practice that they would be better at stopping the rune, but it isn’t the case. I like Navy to continue their domination of Army, and win a low scoring game.

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