The 119th edition of the annual Army-Navy game takes place on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field with the Black Knights looking to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever. The game will be broadcast nationally by CBS and kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. Army is 9-2 on the season and ranked No. 22 in the nation, while Navy has struggled to a 3-9 record. The Black Knights are 6.5-point favorites and the total is set at 40 in the latest Army vs. Navy odds, but this battle between service academies is always about much more than records. That's why you'll want to check out what SportsLine senior analyst Josh Nagel has to say before locking in your own Army vs. Navy picks and predictions.
A Nevada-based expert with 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in handicapping college athletics. He's having another solid season for SportsLine members, hitting on 60 percent of his spread selections.
During Championship Week, Nagel delivered with a slew of picks that wound up converting, including Georgia (+13) against Alabama, Washington (-4.5) over Utah, and the Under (52.5) in Boise State vs. Fresno State. That brings his record to 52-35 on college football this season, and anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, he's locked in a strong pick for the 2018 Army vs. Navy game (stream live on fuboTV) that he's only sharing at SportsLine.
Nagel knows that Army's big advantage will be its defense. Using their running game to control the tempo and play complimentary football, the Black Knights are allowing just 301.3 yards per game and rank 17th in the nation in scoring defense at just 18.7 points per game.
In their win over Buffalo earlier this season on the road, the Bulls managed just 255 yards of total offense and scored just 13 points as Army blew out a squad that went on to finish the regular season as MAC East champions with 10 wins.
However, that doesn't mean Navy can't cover the Army-Navy game spread.
The Midshipmen's record this season doesn't show how well they played down the stretch. In the final three games of the season, Navy played UCF tough in a 35-21 loss, beat Tulsa, and took bowl-eligible Tulane to the wire in a 29-28 defeat. And they managed to have success offensively in a variety of ways.
We saw typical Navy football against UCF and Tulsa, as the Midshipmen averaged 385 yards rushing. However, when they ran into resistance against Tulane on the ground, the Midshipmen managed 204 yards and two touchdowns through the air, with Zach Abey and Malcolm Perry throwing for scores. If Navy can hit on a couple of big plays over the top to keep Army honest, it would go a long way towards covering the seven-point spread.
We can tell you Nagel is leaning toward the over, but he has also unearthed the crucial X-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's only sharing it at SportsLine.
Who covers in Army vs. Navy? And what crucial X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump all over on Saturday, all from an expert who's on a blistering 52-35 run on his college football picks, and find out.