Today’s bet: Army -4.5 @ (1.90/-110)
For the second week in a row, we’re backing another military academy, this time Army. Whenever betting on these teams it is important to note how teams like Army and Navy play a unique “run-first” style. With Army’s offense, 75% of their plays come via the run. Efficiency is important with this style of offense, as well as a solid defense. Army looks to control the time of possession and control the game. This week they’ll meet Georgia State. With any opponent Army faces, due to their unique style, their opponent and matchups play a significant role. We’ll break down the two key areas of this game. The Army offense vs. the Georgia State defense, as well as the Army defense vs. the Georgia State offense.
Army offense vs. the Georgia State defense
As we mentioned, this matchup will come down to Army’s ability to run the ball efficiently. We likely won’t see many passing plays, so it is critical Army can keep possession and keep the first down chains moving. Much of this team’s success and failure comes down to their rushing attack. With this in mind, let’s take a look at Army’s results and the number of yards their opponent has allowed per rushing attempt:
- Rice: 14 points scored (7 point win), Rice allows 4.4 yards per carry (ranked 71st/130 teams)
- Michigan: 21 points scored (3 point loss), Michigan allows 3.0 yards per carry (ranked 13th/130 teams)
- UTSA: 31 points scored (18 point win): UTSA allows 6.2 yards per carry (ranked 128th/130 teams)
- Morgan State: 52 points scored (31 point win): Division 2 opponent
- Tulane: 33 points scored (9 points loss): Tulane allows 4.4 yards per carry (ranked 69th/130 teams)
- Western Kentucky: 8 points scored (9 point loss): Western Kentucky allows 3.3 yards per carry (ranked 24th/130 teams)
As you can see, as expected it’s a common theme with Army, they take advantage of team’s with a poor run defense and struggle against teams that have a good run defense. Let’s take a look at Georgia State:
- 5.7 yards allowed per carry (ranked 122nd/130 teams)
- 196.8 rushing yards allowed per game (ranked 96th/130 teams)
Overall, Georgia State fits the trend of teams Army does well against. What is concerning for Georgia State’s defense is that they have yet to face a rushing offense like Army’s (Army ranks 21st in rushing yards per game). Their wins against Tennessee (ranked 88th in rushing), Furman (Divison 2 school), Arkansas State (ranked 98th in rushing), and Coastal Carolina (ranked 55th in rushing) are not on the same level as Army’s rushing attack. Their biggest loss of the season came against Western Michigan by 47 points. Western Michigan ranked 30th in rushing put up 450 rushing yards against them. Needless to say, we think Army can get the ground game going.
Army defense vs. the Georgia State offense
While we like the spot for the Army’s offense to do well, we need to analyze the defense. Overall, Army is pretty efficient on defense as a whole. In terms of style, Gerogia State also like to run the ball, in fact 61% of their plays are run plays. While Army appears to struggle a bit on the run defense, we’ll note how they only allow 4.3 yards per rushing attempt (ranks 68th/130). It’s also worth noting they’ve already had to face a Tulane team that ranks 5th in rushing yards per attempt at 6.3. Georgia State will be an easier opponent statistically. Despite the Tulane game where they allowed 324 rushing yards, Army still allows 1.2 yards fewer yards per carry than Georgia State allows. Also, out of 130 teams, Army rank 39th in opponent’s yards per play. In other words, they don’t give up big plays down the field. This plays right into their hands as “in theory” should be in better situations to force punts and keep their offense on the field. Another key stat is Georgia State has the 3rd most third-down attempts per game. This means that Georgia State will have a lot of pressure plays and will need to convert at key times in this game. While Georgia State has done well at converting during key times this year, it is hard to say if this trend will continue as Army is statistically the best defense they have faced thus far this season holding opponents to score only 20.6 points per game. It will be a test for Georgia State, and one where we think Army will get the job done in the end.