Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#131 UMass vs.
#132 Army
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Michie Stadium, West Point
Written by Nick Raffoul

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W/L
ATS
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#131 University of Massachusetts Amherst
#132 Army West Point
1-8
3-6
1-8
3-6
7-2
3-5-1
22
24
51
22

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This article covers a past game!

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The UMass Minutemen will travel to Michie Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they get set to take on the Army Black Knights in a battle of D-I Independent schools.

Following a 3-1 start and a double-overtime loss to then-No. 7 Michigan, Army looked poised for another strong season. But five straight losses, including four by nine points or less, have derailed their hopes for another double-digit win campaign. Suddenly, the Black Knights (3-6) will be forced to win three of their final four games in order to qualify for a bowl game. Can Army bounce back and cover the spread in a winnable matchup at home against UMass on Saturday?

UMass drops to 1-8 after another blowout loss

UMass proved to be no match for Liberty in a 63-21 loss at home last week. Andrew Brito had one of his best games of the season, completing 16-of-27 for 124 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions while Cam Robinson added 73 yards and a score on the ground for the Minutemen, who were outgained 730 to 240 in terms of total offense on the day.

For Brito, it was just the second time this season that he’s thrown more than one touchdown in a game and it was his first start without an interception. The junior signal-caller comes in with 656 passing yards, six touchdowns and five picks so far this season.

After rushing for 251 yards and three touchdowns over the previous two weeks combined, Bilal Ally was absent from last week’s game plan. He ran just three times for six yards and was a non-factor against Liberty. Ally still leads the team in rushing with 634 yards and six touchdowns while averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per carry.

While the offense has scored 21 points or more in three straight games, it’s hard to find a positive for the Minutemen on the other side of the ball. On defense, UMass is giving up a whopping 52.0 points, 572.2 yards of total offense and nearly 270.8 rushing yards per game -- all of which rank dead-last in the FBS. They also allowed opposing offenses to convert 50.9 percent of their third-downs, which ranks 128th in the nation.

Army can't punch in victory vs. Air Force

Army lost to Air Force 17-13 last week to extend their current losing streak to five games. The Black Knights came up empty on a 4th-down in the red zone with 33 seconds left after quarterback Jabari Laws set up Army with 1st-and-goal at the 7-yard line. Laws got hurt on the play and was replaced by former starter Kelvin Hopkins Jr., who was unable to get the ball into the end zone. Laws finished with 211 passing yards and a touchdown to go along with 51 yards and a score on the ground in the loss.

Army linebacker Cole Christiansen had a career-high 16 tackles in the loss and now has 89 tackles this season. He leads a defense that comes into this week allowing 22.6 points and 351.8 yards of total offense per game, including 170 yards per game on the ground. The Black Knights were gashed for 328 rushing yards last week, marking the second time during the current slide that they’ve surrendered at least 300 yards on the ground.

While the Black Knights were unable to capture their third straight Commander-In-Chief;’s Trophy, which goes to the service academy with the best record in the round-robin competition, they can still retain the prize if they beat Navy on Dec. 14. Army can still qualify for a bowl game by winning three of their final four contests, beginning with a winnable matchup this week against UMass.

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Army had a couple of chances to turn trips to the red zone into touchdowns last week but came up short twice in a four-point loss. The Black Knights still have a chance to qualify for a bowl game and I expect them to battle down the stretch of the season. With upcoming winnable games against UMass and VMI, the Black Knights should be in a position to go bowling if they can beat Hawaii or Navy in one of the final two weeks of the season. They’ve limited their opponents to less than 20 points twice during their five-game slide but should have a chance to break through here against a UMass team that has allowed an FBS-worst 270.8 rushing yards per game. Take Army to cover the spread in this matchup on Saturday afternoon. 

Prediction: Army Black Knights -34.5

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UMass doesn’t seem to have any interest in stopping people on defense this season. They’ve given up at least 44 points in each of their last four games and they’ve surrendered a whopping 52.0 points per game for the season. Army should have no trouble moving the ball on the ground in this game, which should help inflate their point total here. Take this matchup to go over the projected total on Saturday afternoon. 

Prediction: Over 61.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.