Armed Forces Bowl Prediction
The Army Black Knights will look to earn their 11th victory of the season when they take on the Houston Cougars in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. Laying 5 points as the favorite, will Army cover?
223 Houston Cougars vs. 224 Army Black Knights
3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, December 22, 2018
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Black Knights are 5-point favorites to beat the Cougars. The total, meanwhile, sits at 60 points. As of this writing, 56% of the public betting tickets wagered on this matchup are on the Black Knights.
Houston redshirt freshman QB/WR Bryson Smith (hamstring) has been ruled out for Saturday’s Armed Forces Bowl. Smith (6’0/190) pulled a little positional double-duty this season, spending time at both receiver and quarterback. Ever since D’Eriq King (knee) went down injured against Tulane in November, the redshirt freshman has been serving as backup to Clayton Tune. With Smith now nixed for the Armed Forces Bowl, scout team QB Ike Ogbogu is expected to serve as Tune’s backup against the Black Knights.
Army Black Knights
Army junior QB Kelvin Hopkins rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries while completing 4-of-9 passes for 61 yards in Saturday’s 17-10 win over Navy. After losing 14 straight in the series, Army has now defeated Navy in three consecutive seasons. In Saturday’s incarnation of the tradition-laden contest, Hopkins scored on a 10-yard run just minutes into the first quarter to get the Black Knights off to a nice start. Points would not be so easy to come by as the game progressed, though, with the only points through the next two quarters coming on an Army field goal in the third quarter. Hopkins would add a short rushing score in the fourth quarter to keep Navy at arm’s length. For the campaign, now, the junior signal-caller has rushed for 854 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’ll have one final opportunity to add to those numbers when the Black Knights take on Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 22.
The over is 5-1 in the Cougars’ last six games overall and 4-1 in their last five bowl games.
The under is 16-5 in the Black Knights’ last 21 games played in the month of December.
The Cougars are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games versus the Black Knights, who will no doubt control this game on the ground. While Army has won eight in a row, Houston lost three of its final four games to miss out on the American Athletic Conference title game. The Cougars re also banged-up on defense and will be without four defensive line starters, including All-American Ed Oliver, who is skipping Saturday’s bowl game in preparation for the NFL draft. Motivation is a difficult thing to cap but I envision Army having zero issues getting up for this one. Houston? Not so much.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Prediction: Army Black Knights -5