Army vs Air Force Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Black Knights Stay in the Fight

Service-Academy Unders are typically a thing and sportsbooks have reacted by posting one of the lowest totals ever recorded. Our betting picks are going in a slightly different, but not entirely unrelated, direction for Army vs. Air Force.

Phil Naessens - Betting Analyst at
Phil Naessens • Betting Analyst
Nov 3, 2023 • 15:01 ET • 4 min read

Saturday afternoon brings us another chapter of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy series, and our contest features Army vs. Air Force in Denver. 

The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is awarded to the winner of the series of contests between the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Military Academy (Army), and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Air Force is the reigning trophy holder and holds a 1-0 edge in 2023. 

Army enters this contest looking to end a five-game winning streak, but that won’t be an easy mission for the Black Knights against the undefeated Falcons in the latest college football odds

I break it all down with free college football picks for Army vs. Air Force on Saturday, November 4. Check out our in-depth look at Service Academy trends for even more information on this historic matchup.

Army vs Air Force best odds

Army vs Air Force picks and predictions

The Commander-in-Chief Game is a special one for the military academies. The President of the United States is sometimes in attendance, and it’s an opportunity for the academies to strut their stuff before a national audience.

The Black Knights offense has gone scoreless three times this season and has accumulated 14 total points over their last three contests. Those 14 points all came in their loss to UMASS in Week 9 and while that sounds like an improvement, the Minutemen have the second-worst scoring defense nationally. 

Army quarterback Bryson Daily is listed as questionable, but he did suit up last week against UMASS and throws the football much more than Air Force does. He’ll chuck it 10-20 times per game and has six scoring strikes alongside six interceptions, with two picks against UMASS last week in his return from a 1 1/2-game absence.  

Air Force allows the fourth-fewest points per game, with the third-fewest rushing yards allowed nationally. The Falcons have allowed 19 points over their last two contests, including six points to Navy at Annapolis. The Falcons don’t allow many passing yards, but they have allowed 10 scoring strikes, and this is how Army will cover the +18.5.

Defensively, Army will have its hands full. Air Force averages 33.5 points per game and tops the nation in rushing yards. QB Zac Larrier leads an offense averaging 300 rushing yards per game, and he has accounted for 11 TDs himself. Fullback Emmanuel Michel scampered for 130 yards and a TD against Colorado State and leads a backfield featuring five backs with 100+ rushing yards facing one of the worst rushing defenses in the country.

Finally, the Commander-in-Chief series is huge for both academies. Army may be having a down season, but it knows how to stop the triple-option, and it has the best passing offense among the Armed Forces academia, accruing five passing plays of over 50 yards on the season. That should keep the Falcons on their toes, allowing the Black Knights to score enough to cover the lofty spread.

My best bet: Army +18.5 (-110 at FanDuel)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.

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Army vs Air Force same-game parlay

Army +18.5

Over 31.5

This parlay correlates because if the Army scores at least one TD, the game should end Over the total. As you know, I believe the Black Knights will cover the spread because Daily knows how to throw, and I expect, after watching him play last week, that he will undoubtedly give it a go on Saturday.

The Over/Under record when these two meets is 9-1-0 to the Under, but this is a lower pregame total than any of the previous 10, and I believe Army will show up, score at least one TD, and this game ends Over the total. This Army pass defense is better than what Air Force has had to deal with, and it should ultimately be enough.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Army vs Air Force spread and Over/Under analysis

This contest made sports betting history this week when the total dipped as low as 29.5 points. That’s the lowest pregame total ever for a college football game. The total currently is 31.5.

FanDuel opened Air Force as the overwhelming favorite at –2,300, but that number is now -1,100. This is likely due to the close nature of these contests. Their last five meetings have ended with a combined differential of +23 points, so maybe the Army supporters figure the Black Knights have a chance to win.

FanDuel also opened this game with a 34.5 (-110) total, which dipped to 29.5 points and shifted to 31.5 (-105) late Wednesday night and hasn’t budged since. This game may have made betting history, but that number is too low.

I’m leaning toward an Army victory, and by the line movement, I see that I’m not alone. These Armed Forces contests can sometimes be tricky, and no matter what the team win/loss records are, four of their last five were decided by fewer than six points. +680 on Army to win might be worth a sprinkle. 

Army vs Air Force betting trend to know

The Black Knights are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Find more college football betting trends for Army vs Air Force.

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Army vs Air Force game info

Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2023
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET

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