Army vs. Navy Expert Pick and Prediction – December 9, 2023
ARMY VS. NAVY EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – December 9, 2023 — America’s Game also serves as the bowl game this year for Army and Navy, as neither cobbled together enough victories to make a bowl game in time. The winner of this game will get its sixth win and would become bowl eligible, but because the bowl games had to be decided early, neither team ended up qualifying for the postseason.
Army’s still got plenty to play for as it looks to secure the Commander in Chief’s Trophy for the fifth time in seven years. The Black Knights have become the dominant squad among the service academies since Jeff Monken got established in his third season at West Point. Over the past eight seasons, Army has gone 10-5 against Air Force and Navy, including a 5-2 mark against the Midshipmen.
Navy coach Brian Newberry is new to leading his squad in this game, as this is his first year as the man in charge in Annapolis. The Mids have slowly figured out which pieces go where and established themselves as a tough out in Annapolis. But once they leave Maryland, they’ve struggled. Navy went just 1-4 away from its home field, beating only a weak Charlotte team.
The Mids can’t win the Commander in Chief’s trophy given that they lost to Air Force, but they can deny it to Army, which would be just as satisfying.
(5-6 SU, 4-6-1 ATS)
(5-6 SU, 4-7 ATS)
When: Saturday, December 9th at 3 p.m. EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
Public Bets: 65% on Army
Public Money: 69% on Navy
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of December 6th, 2023.
Army vs. Navy In-Season Trends
When service academies are involved, the total is almost always going to be low. When two service academies are involved, the total is going to be incredibly low. And that’s what we’ve got here, as this might be the lowest total we’ve seen all season.
Last year, the teams managed to score 20 points combined in regulation. Of course, they went over because both teams scored in overtime, but usually, this low total is very much in play. In Army’s past five victories, only once has 17 points not been sufficient to win.
Conversely, when Navy wins this game, it’s usually a higher-scoring affair. Out of the Mids’ past eight wins in the series, seven of them saw at least 30 points scored. Navy’s only topped 17 points once since 2015, which is why Army has won five of seven over its greatest rival.
Temperatures will actually be fairly mild for this contest. With temperatures creeping up to 52 degrees on Saturday, the weather won’t play much of a factor here.
Special teams might be the difference here. In kicker Quinn Maretzki, Army has a reliable special teams option once it gets inside 25 yards. Navy does not have that, as the Mids have hit just 7 of 13 field goal attempts on the year.
This game is going to come down to who can get the most yards on the ground. Fullback Alex Tecza will get most of Navy’s carries, while quarterback Bryson Daily will do most of the work for Army. Both teams have gone run-heavy all year, and Army handled Air Force’s ground game much better than Navy did, holding the Falcons to just three points.
Army’s special teams play should make the difference here. The Black Knights have closed the year strong with three wins, and they’ve done it with solid play from their special teams. They’re more likely to cash in if they get close enough to attempt a field goal, and their run defense has proven itself against the triple option.
It won’t be pretty. But it should be an effective showing for the Black Knights.