Army Navy Betting Guide: Why I’m Targeting The Spread Despite Under Trend

Written By Eli Hershkovich on December 9, 2021
Army Navy

For the 121st time, the Army Navy game will showcase one of college football’s most famous rivalries. The Black Knights have covered seven of the last nine meetings, including last season’s shutout victory against the Midshipmen. Let’s dive into where I see value among potential Army Navy bets.

You’ll also find an Army Navy bets breakdown from Motoi Pearson, WynnBET Sportsbook’s senior trader, including where the money is headed. Join TheLines college football betting channel to continue the conversation.

Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen

As of Friday at PointsBet Sportsbook, 63% of the spread tickets and 84% of the handle are backing Army. For the total, 60% of the bets are on the under, while 63% of the handle is on the over.

Given the fact that the under has gone 38-7 in their last 45 matchups, the number of tickets in that market isn’t surprising. But there’s more value in the spread instead of backing a trend.

Both offenses run the triple-option and stay true to their ground game, generating a top-three rushing percentage with their duel-threat signal callers.

Despite Navy’s defense sitting in the bottom-30 of yards per play (YPP), it’s surprisingly holding serve against the run, ranking No. 54 in opponents’ rushing success rate (SR). This contest is always highly-intense on both sides of the ball, and I’m expecting a valiant defensive effort from the Midshipmen.

  • SR showcases whether a play is successful if a team gains:
    • 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
    • 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
    • 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down

Moreover, Army’s defense hasn’t been dominant towards limiting scoring efficiency, slotting in at No. 57 in net points allowed per drive. Ken Niumatalolo’s attack has been anything but consistent this season, yet the market was initially overvaluing the Black Knights’ unit before the spread was bet down a bit.

Behind The Counter

“We opened Army as a seven-point favorite, as other spots looked to hang -8 or so,” Pearson said. “While we took a few off market bets at -7, we’ve seen the market bend back towards our numbers. We have the ultimate respect for both teams, but look for us to shade the Midshipmen the rest of the way.

“As far as a bet. I’ll need Midshipmen. This team has played far better than what I could’ve imagined this year against some tough competition in the AAC. Give me Navy to play some inspired football to get inside the touchdown and quite possibly might come out with the outright victory at MetLife (Stadium).”

Eli’s Bet: Navy +7.5 (BetRivers Sportsbook — placed at 4:30pm ET on Thursday, Dec. 9)
Mo’s Bet: Navy +7.5
Army Navy Bets Strategy: Navy +7 or better
Best Available Line: Navy

Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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