The traditional low-scoring nature of the Army-Navy Game is reflected in the odds for Saturday's contest.
The over/under has dropped to 37.5 points, as the oddsmakers believe both offenses will take too long to score and not have many opportunities to reach the 20-point mark.
Army comes into the rivalry game as the better team and the favored side on the spread, but Navy holds the advantage in the rivalry. The Midshipmen ended the Black Knights' three-game winning streak in 2019 and have a 61-52-7 record in the matchup.
The Black Knights may have more of an advantage in 2020 compared to any contest with the Midshipmen over the past 65 years. The game is being played at Michie Stadium in West Point, New York—the first time the rivalry has been played at a service academy since 1943.
Army-Navy Game Information
Date: Saturday, December 12
Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: CBSSports.com or CBS Sports app
Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook): Army (-8; -345), Navy (+8; +270); over/under: 37.5
Low-scoring games are synonymous with the Army-Navy Game because of the run-first option offenses utilized by both service academies.
Since 2014, the most points scored in a single Army-Navy Game is 38, which has happened on three occasions. The last time the rivalry featured more than 40 points was 2013, when Navy won 34-7.
All of the trends suggest the under is the best betting play for Saturday's contest in West Point, and there is also a good chance Army backs up its favorite status. It owns four more wins than Navy and has been much more successful moving the ball down the field this season.
Jeff Monken's Black Knights has scored at least 28 points in six of their seven victories this year. The exception to that trend was a 14-9 win over The Citadel in October.
The main difference between Army's other games and Saturday afternoon is the similar offensive style from the opponent. Army could score a few times on extended drives, but it may not get back the ball back if Navy puts together a scoring drive or picks up a few first downs.
Both teams are committed to their triple-option offenses, and few passes are thrown over the course of 60 minutes. Army has earned 2,670 yards on the ground this season compared to 452 passing yards, while Navy has 1,668 rushing yards and 952 through the air.
For Navy to have a chance to win, it must continue the defensive play from the past two games, in which it held both opponents under 20 points.
However, Ken Niumatalolo's team has not figured out a way to combine strong defensive performances with decent offensive outings. Navy managed 13 points in its losses to the Memphis Tigers and Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
The recent play of Navy's two units could be the key to the under hitting. If Navy's offense is effective and matches Army's production, both teams have a chance to score more than 20 points.
The last time both teams in the rivalry eclipsed 20 points was in 2011, when Navy won 27-21.
If Navy's offense remains inconsistent and its defense is able to slow down Army on a few occasions, we could see a low-scoring affair that goes by much faster than any other college football game.
Army has been the more complete team this season, but the eight-point spread may scare some people from betting on it since its past three wins over Navy were by seven points or fewer.
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