America’s Rivalry Game: Army Vs. Navy Preview

  • Army plays Navy for the 120th time this Saturday.
  • Army has won the last three games in this rivalry.
  • Navy enters the game ranked 23rd by the CFB Playoff Committee and 21st in the AP Top 25.
  • Army is unranked by both the CFP Playoff Committee and the AP Top 25.

PHILADELPHIA - One of college football’s greatest traditions will be renewed in Philadelphia on Saturday. The Army Black Knights vs. the Navy Midshipmen game kicks off at 3 p.m. EST and will be broadcasted on CBS.

Army has won the last three times the teams have clashed, but this year, Navy enters as a heavy favorite. The line US sportsbooks have set generally favored Navy (-10.5), and currently sits there. The Midshipmen are 9-2 on the season and are currently at their third-highest AP ranking in the last 35 years.

This is something of a surprise, as Navy is coming off of a 3-10 season last year.

The Army Black Knights

Army has struggled this year, and enters the game as the underdog, with a 5-7 record. They are 5-7 ATS as well, an interesting coincidence. Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr., who has contributed 570 passing yards and 706 rushing yards, has a leg injury.

Hopkins is listed as probable, but it remains to be seen if he will play in what is likely the most important game of the season for the Black Knights.

There is some hope for those wanting to take the underdog in this matchup. Army is undefeated ATS in their last five neutral-site games, and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games where they entered as the underdog. In other words, the team has a history of covering the spread in situations like this.

The Navy Midshipmen

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Navy has had a heck of a bounce-back year after a disappointing 3-10 season in 2018. They enter the game with a 9-2 record and a top 25 ranking from both the AP Poll and the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

Star quarterback Malcolm Perry has been electric, with 1,500 yards on the ground to go along with his 1,027 yards in the air. Overall, he’s contributed 25 touchdowns and is the clear focal point of the Navy offense.

There are some compelling trends with regards to the spread for the Midshipmen. They are 5-0 ATS against teams with losing records, and 7-1 ATS when they entered the game as a favorite. Incredibly, they’re 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 overall, a notable anomaly.


There are a couple of compelling questions to ask yourself when you consider this game.

Is this the year Army’s recent dominance of this matchup finally ends? Navy won the matchup every year from 2002-2015, but since then it’s been all Army.

These games have, in recent years, trended low scoring and defensive results, for obvious playstyle reasons. Will this continue to hold, even in the face of an electric offensive player like Malcolm Perry? The over/under is set 40.5 points, after opening at a whopping 42.5 points. In the last five years, no Army-Navy game has had more than 40 points scored.