Pamela Maldonado is joined by Ariel Epstein to give her picks for the Army vs. Navy game.
ARIEL EPSTEIN: Welcome to Yahoo Sportsbook. Alongside Pam Maldonado, I'm Ariel Epstein. Pam, this is a huge weekend, a huge game coming up. It's Army-Navy. Army laying 7 and 1/2 points. This total extremely low at 34 and 1/2. I say extremely low, which seems a little fishy based on previous years. What is it about this line that stood out to you?
PAM MALDONADO: The opening line was 36, and as you mentioned, it is now 34 and 1/2. But don't go rushing to the betting window, just blind betting in this under. Because 36 points is actually the lowest that the total has opened for this match-up in the last 10 seasons. And these two, they do play every single year. But looking at the last decade, this match-up has gone under the total of 36 points just five times, including last year's 15-0 Army win in New York.
I'm not at all interested in the under, however. I do like a side in this game, and I am siding with Army, minus 7 and 1/2. You got to kind of throw out the analytics when it comes to military matchups. But Army, they do have the better defense in this game. Top 10 in opponent red zone attempts, Navy is 82nd. Top 25 in opponent red zone scores, Navy is 66th. I really don't expect any explosive downfield plays, so if this does come down to a red zone game, then the edge definitely goes to Army on the defense and Army on the offense, who is top 15 in offensive touchdowns scored. Navy is bottom 15.
Avoid the total, it could still very well end up on the under. But more so, I do love Army laying the points.
ARIEL EPSTEIN: As we were talking about that fishy total before being extremely low, what's a creative way for people to go bet the total without betting the actual total?
PAM MALDONADO: What I would consider looking for is the Navy team total under. Anything about 14 points is right around the mark that I'd be taking to buy. It's not out right now, it could be out closer to kickoff. So Navy team total under, I expect them to not be putting up any touchdowns, maybe even limiting some field goals. I would be looking at the Navy team total under if you can find it closer to kickoff.
ARIEL EPSTEIN: Just to recap, Pam is on Army minus 7 and 1/2, in addition to a team total under on Navy if you could find it around that number of 14. For Pam Maldonado, I'm Ariel Epstein. Good luck to your bets this weekend.
Bet $1.00 on any game and win $100 free. Sign up now at betmgm.com/yahoospecial.