Army vs. Navy Game 2021: Start Time and Predictions for Rivalry GameDecember 11, 2021
The Army-Navy Game has typically been a low-scoring affair.
Only two winners of the rivalry game reached the 30-point mark in the last 10 years. The Navy Midshipmen scored 31 points in their last win over the Army Black Knights in 2019, and they posted 34 points back in 2013.
Army has been the dominant service academy in the matchup over the last five years. The Black Knights held the Midshipmen under 20 points in each of their last four wins.
Army comes into MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday as the better side with an 8-3 record and a spot in the Armed Forces Bowl. Navy is 3-8, but it has played better football of late.
Navy's improved play over the last month combined with some high concessions from both defenses throughout the regular season may lead you to believe we will see more points than expected on Saturday afternoon.
Army-Navy Game Information
Date: Saturday, December 11
Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: CBSSports.com and CBS Sports app
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Army -7
Money Line: Army (-290; bet $290 to win $100); Navy (+230; bet $100 to win $230)
Army 27, Navy 21
Army should be favored, but it may not win in a runaway effort like the 15-0 victory last season.
The Black Knights have allowed under 20 points against each of their last three opponents. They did not play a difficult slate against Liberty, UMass and Bucknell in November, however.
Army cruised to double-digit wins in all of those contests, but it did not have perfect defensive showings, which is why the door could be open for Navy to cover or win.
Navy put up 58 points in its last two victories over Tulsa and Temple. It also produced 35 points in a three-point loss to East Carolina.
Navy ran for 345 yards in that defeat, but it also got a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Tai Lavatai. Lavatai and Xavier Arline both threw a touchdown pass in the following game against Temple.
The red-zone passing threat posed by Navy could be vital for its success against an Army passing defense that gives up 220.5 yards per game.
Navy will not throw at a high enough volume to even reach 100 yards through the air, but the confidence gained in the short passing game over the last few weeks could be a vital difference between three and seven points on red-zone trips.
Army might be inclined to throw the ball a bit more as well through Christian Anderson, who has attempted 12 passes in two of his last four games. Anderson also eclipsed the 100-yard mark through the air versus Air Force and Liberty.
Navy's defense gives up nearly seven more points and almost eight more passing yards per game than Army's unit. The Black Knights could look to exploit those weaknesses with some big gains through the air.
A higher-scoring game than usual could also be aided by the unseasonably warm conditions in northern New Jersey.
The temperature will be in the low 60s for the duration of the game, and there is expected to be light rain and a bit of wind, per Weather.com.
The warmer conditions may give both offenses a bit more confidence to throw the ball instead of doing so in 30-degree conditions that typically hit the east coast this time of year.
Navy could bank on the confidence gained from its recent performances and motivation from being shutout last year in West Point to remain in the contest.
The Army-Navy Game was decided by one possession in five straight years from 2014 to 2018, and the margin of victory has been fewer than seven points in seven of the last 10 meetings. That is a good sign for Navy to at least cover the point spread.
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