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Navy vs Air Force Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds and Picks

The first game to determine the winner of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy kicks off on Saturday when the Navy Midshipmen (1-2) face off against the Air Force Falcons (3-1). Navy earned their first win of the season in Week 4 with a 23-20 victory over the East Carolina Pirates. It took a 36-yard field goal in double overtime, but a win is a win.

In dominant fashion, Air Force won their first conference game over the Nevada Wolfpack 48-20. The Falcons’ triple-option was far too much for Nevada to handle, with Air Force totaling 461 yards on the ground.

Head coach Ken Niumatalolo of the Navy Midshipmen talks with players
Rob Carr / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Let’s check the latest NCAAF odds, stats, injury reports, and NCAAF lines for Navy vs Air Force. We’ve plenty of Vegas NCAAF odds for you to consider.

Navy and Air Force feature two of the nation’s best rushing attacks. The Falcons are better on the ground but lack something the Navy don’t – a quarterback who throws the ball. Tai Lavatai is a big part of the rushing attack with 101 total yards, but he is also a quality gunslinger. Lavatia is 15 of 30 with 386 yards and two touchdowns in three games. He has yet to throw an interception and has been sacked only twice. Last week against ECU, Lavatia went 7 of 10 with 152 yards in his best statistical game yet. It was also the first win by the Midshipmen.

Navy’s rushing attack, while less scary, is more flexible. The Navy Midshipmen spread the ball around a lot more and saw five different players go over 30 yards rushing against the Pirates. This is a big deal because Air Force’s rushing defense is not very good. Heading into Week 5, the Falcons rank 104th in opponent yards per rush. Nevada ranks 96th in yards per rush and went over 100 yards on the ground against Air Force.

Air Force Falcons

It’s all about the triple-option for the Falcons, and so far, it’s been very effective to start the year. Running back Brad Roberts led the charge last week with 123 yards on 20 carries with three touchdowns while John Lee Eldridge ran for 102 yards.

To beat the Air Force Falcons, all Navy has to do is shut down the running game. Air Force attempted just three passes last week, with starting QB Hazziq Daniels going 0 of 2. On the season, Daniels is 11 of 27 with 218 yards and three touchdowns.

Stopping the Falcons’ rushing attack is no easy task. Air Force leads the nation in rushing yards per game (370.3) and rushing play percentage (88.24%). Coincidentally, Navy ranks second with 83.22% of its plays staying on the ground.

That is not to say that Navy doesn’t match up well against Air Force. The Midshipmen rank 18th in opponent rushing yards per game and have a potent ground attack of their own.

The Falcons enter Week 5 with five players listed as questionable. They include DE Jayden Thiergood, QB Zac Larrier, WR DeAndre Hughes and WR Dane Kinamon. Meanwhile, WR Wyatt Wilson is out until early October.

On the other hand, the Navy has no players on the injury report this week.

Navy and Air force have met every year since 1995, with Air Force holding a slim 14-13 advantage. The Falcons are on a two-game winning streak against Navy and are 5-1 against the spread since 2016. The over/under is 1-3 in the last four meetings.

  • Game: Navy vs Air Force
  • Location: Falcon Stadium, USAF Academy, CO
  • Day/Time: Saturday, Oct. 1, Noon ET
  • Navy vs Air Force Live Stream: ESPN

The odds in this chart are based on the time of publication. They are subject to change.

There is no denying that Air Force is a superior team that is playing better football right now. They ran all over the three teams they have beaten and might have the best rushing game in the country. However, Navy’s defense is excellent against the rush and won’t be so easily dominated on the ground. Furthermore, Navy has a potent rushing attack of their own and Air Force’s rushing defense is not all that tight.

Air Force should come away with a win, but 14 points is too many in this matchup.

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