For all of its rich history and memorable performances, the annual Army versus Navy college football tilt has come down to one simple question in recent seasons.
Even as the week 15 college football spread having the Black Knights as 15 point underdogs, can Army finally bring an end to Navy’s dozen years of undeniable dominance?
Let’s find out before the two military gridiron programs square off in the only Week 16 matchup on the NCAAF docket.
Navy Midshipmen (6-5) vs. Army Black Knights (4-7)
When: Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 3:00 PM ET
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
Odds: Navy -15
Analyzing The Navy Vs. Army College Football Week 16 Betting Spread
Navy (5-6 ATS) comes into this annual showdown having won two straight and impressive four of their last five games while scoring at least 39 points in every game. The Midshipmen picked up an exciting 42-40 win over South Alabama on Nov. 28 despite failing to cover the spread as a touchdown road favorite.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) December 9, 2014
Junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds is Navy’s do-it-all leader. The fleet-footed signal-caller leads the Middies in touchdowns scored (20), rushing yards (1,082) and passing (749).
The Midshipmen have an absolutely powerful rushing attack that ranks second in the nation (357.8 ypg) thanks mostly to the contributions of Reynolds, senior running back Noah Copeland (859 yards) and junior Chris Swain (574 yards).
— UA Football (@UAFootball) December 9, 2014
Reynolds rushed for 119 yards on ten carries and three touchdowns in his last contest while Copeland chipped in another 112 yards and two scores on 17 carries against South Alabama.
After not winning more than three games in each of the last three seasons, Army (4-7 ATS) hired a new head coach in Jeff Monken this past offseason but the Black Knights have still struggled mightily in Monken’s inaugural campaign at the helm.
While Army has undeniably had a rough first season under Monken, the Black Knights also have a little bit of momentum coming into this contest after winning two their last three games, while scoring at
— Army Athletics (@ArmyAthletics) December 8, 2014
The Black Knights recorded a solid 42-31 win over Fordham on Nov. 22 to cover the spread as a 3.5-point home dog. Like the Midshipmen, Army features a highly potent triple option rushing attack that ranks sixth in the nation (305.3 ypg).
Unfortunately, the Black Knights have been far too generous on defense in allowing 34.4 points per contest (109th) while also ranking at least 95th in every other meaningful defensive statistical category.
It’s crazy to think that it’s been a dozen years since Army last won a game in this longstanding series, but it’s true, the Black Knights have failed to bring home the hardware in every meeting since last winning this perennial clash in 2001.
The Midshipmen are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following an SU win but just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a losing record. However, the Army Black Knights have been pretty much abysmal when it comes to covering the spread.
Army is just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and a surprising 6-20 ATS in their last 26 games following an ATS win.
With the Navy Midshipmen holding an 8.2-point scoring edge over the Black Knights on offense and 4.6-point advantage in points allowed defensively, statistics seem to suggest that the Middies will fall just short of covering the spread as at least two-touchdown favorites.
For me, with Army scoring the ball much better over its final three games (33.6 ppg), I say an ATS upset is brewing in this one!