The battle for the 2021 Commander-in-Chief's Trophy gets underway Saturday as the Air Force Falcons visit the Navy Midshipmen. The trophy is awarded to the major service academy -- Army, Navy or Air Force -- with the best record against the other two in a given season. If the records are tied, the trophy remains in the previous winner's possession. Air Force opened the year with a 35-14 win over FCS-level Lafayette, while Navy was routed 49-7 by Marshall. The game will take place on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and feature a tribute and alternate uniforms.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The latest Air Force vs. Navy odds from Caesars Sportsbook list the Falcons as six-point favorites. The over-under for total points is down to 40. Before making any Navy vs. Air Force picks, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It also enters Week 2 of the 2021 season on a 63-45 run on all top-rated college football picks. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Air Force vs. Navy spread: Air Force -6
- Air Force vs. Navy over-under: 40 points
- Air Force vs. Navy money line: Air Force -230, Navy +190
Why Air Force can cover
The Falcons are two years removed from an 11-2 campaign and they managed a 3-3 mark in last season's shortened schedule. They've hit the 10-win mark three times since 2014, so coach Troy Calhoun has certainly managed to build a regular contender in the Mountain West despite some of the challenges of service-academy football.
Both squads primarily use the option, but the Falcons ran it much better last year. Air Force led the nation in rushing offense with 305.7 yards per game, while Navy averaged just 177.7. First-week results might be a bit deceiving due to the huge disparity in level of competition for the two sides, but the Falcons should have confidence coming off their convincing win.
Why Navy can cover
Games between service academies are traditionally hard-fought and low-scoring. That could generate some value on the Midshipmen in this spot as they're getting six points at home in a game that very well could be close in the fourth quarter. The final score against Marshall wasn't pretty last week, but Navy still did some good things in that matchup.
The Midshipmen ran for 337 yards and averaged 4.4 yards per carry against a quality opponent. They also held the ball for over 41 minutes. They'll need finish drives and cut down on mistakes, but if they play a cleaner game, they could certainly stay within the spread or pull off the outright upset.
How to make Navy vs. Air Force picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 39 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Air Force vs. Navy? And which side of the spread hits in over 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.