The final regular season game of the 2023 College Football regular season takes place in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. on Saturday with the annual Army-Navy Classic scheduled at the home of the New England Patriots.
Even casual college football fans and non-bettors understand this game is known for pride, pageantry, patriotism and punts -- not points.
The last five matchups in the series have totaled 147 points between the two teams, with one side exceeding 20 points just once in those five games.
One of my favorite things about researching games and making picks is starting the research with one hypothesis and ending up on the other side once the research is complete.
Such is the case with this game, as I went in with a preconceived notion that one team would certainly exceed their team total. That may not be the case.
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Army vs. Navy Odds, Spread and Total for Week 15
Army is the favorite and the game total is set at 28.5. The Cadet's team total is set at 14.5.
Certainly, Army can string together two touchdowns and a field goal against the Midshipmen, right?
Yes, it could, but that hasn't been the story recently, as Army has done that exactly once (excluding last year's double overtime game) in the last five meetings between these teams.
Army also surpassed 14.5 in 2020, but that took a safety with five minutes left to go in a game that entered the fourth quarter at 3-0.
This isn't the case of one team being run heavy and the other being more balanced. These two teams run the ball and then run the ball some more with Navy throwing 10 passes per game and Army averaging around 14 passes per contest.
There is a lengthy trend of head-to-head service academy games going under and while that doesn't guarantee one particular team going under, it sure doesn't hurt.
Army vs Navy Team Total Prediction
The Navy defense isn't great when playing Notre Dame or SMU, but they do own two shutouts and another game where they gave up only six points when playing teams that were more evenly matched athletically.
Army is averaging about a field goal a game and while this may get it over 14.5, there's the potential for a game script where this becomes a security blanket that leads the team to be more conservative, especially with points at a premium.
Last year's game was the only overtime in the 124-game history of the series and safeties are fairly uncommon, so those options for going over this total seem less likely.
Army may win the game, but if so, it'll do it with 14 points or less.
Pick: Army UNDER 14.5 points
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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