NCAA Football Free Picks: Navy Midshipmen vs. Army Black Knights

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It's the annual tradition in the second week of December that college football betting fans everywhere always look forward to the most. The Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen meet up in a game full of honor, integrity, and everything else that is right about this great country. There is little pressure on the line for both teams, as they already know that they have bowl destinations wrapped up, which should make for even more enjoyment for this crucial tilt.

Matchup: Navy Midshipmen vs. Army Black Knights
Date: Saturday, December 11th, 2:30 ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Game Line: Navy -8
Over/Under 53.5

Midshipmen Notes: The Middies have come on strong this year, and they are right at the verge of finishing the season in the Top 25 in the rankings. They have once again put together a great year, though many wonder whether this could have been significantly more special without a homecoming loss to the Duke Blue Devils or an inexplicable loss to the Maryland Terrapins to start the season. If that were the case, a Top 25 bid would already be sealed, while a trip to a better bowl game than the Poinsettia Bowl against the San Diego State Aztecs might have been on the line. Offensively, we've come to know and love the standard triple option assault, something that has been used at the Naval Academy for eons. QB Ricky Dobbs has generated a ton of offense in his career with Navy, and he is wrapping up his illustrious career with one last attempt at taking down Army. Dobbs threw for 1,110 yards and rushed for 806 more, totaling 23 TDs against just four INTs on the campaign. His top man on the option is RB Alexander Teich, who has 778 yards and five TDs on the year. RB Gee Gee Greene and RB Vince Murray will inevitably get their touches, and the two have combined for just over 800 yards and seven trips to the end zone. Remember that WR Greg Jones is a legitimate passing threat, though. The top receiver for the Middies has 28 receptions for 554 yards and four TDs on the year, numbers that are absolutely phenomenal by the standards of the triple option.

Black Knights Notes: The Cadets haven't won a game in this series since 2001, but they are hoping that a stellar defense can be the key to getting the job done here in 2010. This 'D' ranks No. 25 in the country at 322.6 yards per game allowed and has been stellar against the run at 131.7 yards per game. Teams are only scoring 24.6 points per game, but over the L/3, the Black Knights have allowed an average of 32.3 PPG and have gone 1-2 SU and ATS in that stretch. Army has been off since November 20th, and the hope is that there isn't too much rust shown in this one, particularly on offense. The Black Knights only have a total of 857 passing yards on the season, and there are over 50 individual receivers on teams that have more than that across the country. QB Trent Steelman isn't exactly your standard passer, and throwing the ball clearly isn't his strength. He has run the ball 168 times and done a masterful job electing whom to hand the ball to on a regular basis. Steelman has 620 yards and a team high 11 scores on the ground. RB Jared Hassin is his favorite option to hand the ball to ,as Hassin is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, has 881 yards, and nine scores. The sophomore is trying to follow in the footsteps of RB Collin Mooney, who was the academy's most recent 1,000 yard rusher and was the first in over a decade to pull off the stunt. He is just 109 yards shy of that number coming into this one, and between this and the bowl game against the SMU Mustangs, he should have no problems. RBs Patrick Mealy, Malcolm Brown, and Brian Cobbs are also standards in the triple option, and all three should get at least a handful of carries on the day. The three have combined for almost 1,000 yards on the ground and have a total on ten TDs.

The Final Word: Is this Army's year? It is certainly the best chance that the Cadets have had in a number of years of pulling off the upset against the Naval Academy, that's for sure. Though we tend to believe that Navy's winning streak is extending to nine in this one, we have a hard time believing that a defense that has been relatively inconsistent for most of the season is holding down Steelman, Hassin, and the Black Knights for the entire game. Go Army! Beat Navy! (Or at least lose by a touchdown or less!)

Army/Navy Picks: Army +8
Prediction: Navy 27 – Army 23

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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