Welcome to The Slate, your home for college football picks at NESN.com. Here you can find our best bets to follow across (mostly) Saturdays in the fall. It’s Army-Navy week!
If you’ve been following along with us throughout the season, you’d know we’ve been riding solo on our way to a respectable 38-32-0 record. That means we’re up, baby!
We couldn’t attack Army-Navy week alone, however.
In preparation for America’s Game, we tabbed some of NESN’s very best to try and make sense of a game where records can be thrown out the window and streaks have recently been broken. It wouldn’t be right to ride into this battle alone, so let’s see what the best and brightest at NESN Bets have to say.
George Balekji (Army -2.5)
America is the winner, first and foremost. In terms of the game, I’ll go with Army as Saturday will be a meeting of same styles. These teams both run the ball and play defense, and Army has the advantage on the defensive side with run stoppers on all three levels. They also have the upside of good receivers if the moment calls for airing it out. They?ve won three straight and have momentum, including a win over Air Force. Give me both teams to score 10-plus points (+105) and Under 28.5. This will be a 16-10 final, so everyone wins.
Sam Panayotovich (Under 28.5)
Army and Navy can’t score. They both average a smidge over 17 points per game and home-run plays are very rare. These two offenses tend to play extremely tight and even with a lower total than usual for this rivalry, it?s probably still not low enough.
Mike Cole (Army -2.5)
I’ve watched exactly one Army or Navy game this season, and it was the former losing at home to UMass. That is not good! However, Bill Belichick is a big Navy guy, as you might have heard, and the Patriots coach is having maybe the worst season of his life. That stench gets transferred to the Midshipmen in Foxboro, so Black Knights it is.
Jason Ounpraseuth (Under 28.5)
Points could be hard to come by based on how these teams played throughout the season. This game has the feeling of a rock fight where a big play or turnover could decide the result.
Sean McGuire (First Quarter — Tie)
We can’t pick the exact score in this market, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone if we have a scoreless tie after the opening period, which FanDuel is presenting at +175. Both teams surely will be dealing with the emotions and nerves that come with America’s Game, but in addition to those human emotions, neither team presents the threat of a quick-strike offense. In fact, both teams average three run plays for every one pass attempt, which will keep the clock moving early on. Picking Army-Navy to be tied at the half (+550) is rather enticing, as well.
Keagan Stiefel (Under 28.5)
I won’t get too big for my britches and try to swing for the fences here like Sean, but I do like his pick. Instead, I’m rolling with a ton of punts. We saw Army-Navy go Under for 16 straight seasons before the double-overtime classic of 2022 put an end to my favorite streak in sports. We’ll see Gillette Stadium, which hasn’t been an offensive hotbed this season, kickstart a new streak.