Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Betting Preview Army vs Houston

By Rick Rockwell in NCAAF on December 19, 2018

On Saturday, the Army Black Knights and the Houston Cougars will battle it out on the gridiron to determine this year’s winner of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. Army comes into this matchup on a long winning streak and look to punctuate their 2018 season with a solid bowl win.

Houston would love to knock off the better team and end their season on a high note. Kickoff inside Amon Carter Stadium is at 3:30 PM ET.

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Army vs Houston Live Odds and Betting History

The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:

Betting Data Houston Cougars Army Black Knights
Current S/U record 8-4 10-2
2018 Home 5-1 7-0
2018 Away 3-3 3-2
2018 ATS 6-6 6-5-1
2018 ATS Home 4-2 2-4-1
2018 ATS Away 2-4 4-1
2018 O/U 8-4 6-6
2018 O/U Home 3-3 2-5
2018 O/U Away 5-1 4-1

Cougars vs Black Knights Bowl Game Preview

Saturday’s bowl game will mark the 8th time these two football programs have played against each other. Currently, the Cougars hold the advantage in this series with a 5-2 record. Houston has won 3 straight games against Army, but they have not played against each other since 2004.

Houston (8-4) comes into this game having lost 3 of their last 4 games including a 52-31 defeat to Memphis nearly one month ago. At one point, the Cougars were 7-1 on the season and looking like a serious contender in the AAC, but the bottom fell out on them and they closed out the year on a sour note. Houston would love to get this bowl game victory and end the season on a high.

Army (10-2) last played on December 8th and defeated their longtime rival Navy by a score of 17-10. It was army’s 8th straight win as they come into this matchup one of the hottest teams in college football.

Army hasn’t lost since mid-September when they fell to the #4 Oklahoma Sooners in overtime. The Black Knights play smash-mouth football and will look to grind out a win over the Cougars on Saturday.

The Armed Forces Bowl spread has seen quite the movement since it opened at -5 for Army with most online betting sites. From there, the spread dropped all the way down to 3 points in favor of the Black Knights before coming back up to 4.5 points at most internet sportsbooks.

The Over/Under opened as high as 67.5 points before freefalling all the way down to 60 total points with most NFL betting sites.

Free Bowl Game Sports Bet and NCAAF Prediction: Army -195

This bowl game features a high scoring offense vs a nasty defense and a serious rushing attack vs a poor defense. In other words, Army comes into this matchup with a suffocating defense and a ground and pound rushing attack that both rank near the top of college football. While, Houston has a powerful offense, but one of the worst defenses in the land.

After 12 games, Houston’s offense is ranked 6th in the nation for total yards per game at 528.6 ypg according to NCAA.com, 4th in scoring at 46.4 ppg, 14th in passing at 300.9 ypg, and 19th in rushing at 227.7 ypg. Houston is led by QB D’Eriq King who has 2,982 yards, 36 TDs, and 6 INTs on the season.

He’s surrounded by talented playmakers with RB Patrick Carr (816 yards, 5 TDs) and WR Marquez Stevenson (947 yards, 9 TDs).

This powerful offense will be matched up against one of the toughest defenses in the country. Army is 13th in scoring as they allow only 18 ppg, 9th in total defense as they give up only 293.5 total ypg, 12th against the run at 108.2 ypg, and 20th against the pass at 185.3 ypg.

I expect this Army defense to slow down the Houston offense and hold them below their season averages. I also expect Army’s offense to win the time of possession battle, which will limit how many possessions that Houston’s offense gets.

Army is not going to wow you with their offense, but they will punch a defense in the face and run right over them with a rushing attack that’s 2nd in the nation at 296.3 ypg. Army rarely throws the ball, but QB Hokpins Jr. is capable of completing some big throws on a defense when needed.

Houston’s defense allows 488.9 total ypg, 34.4 ppg, and 197.5 rushing ypg. Their 98th ranked rush defense is going to be in trouble on Saturday as they face a rushing attack that will chew them up and spit them out.

In comparison, the Navy Midshipmen have a similar running game and they put up 349 yards against Houston this year in a losing effort. However, Navy doesn’t have the defense that Army has. Additionally, Houston’s best defender Ed Oliver is sitting out this game as he doesn’t want to risk injury before entering the NFL Draft.

I like Army to win this game, but I’m not sold on the Black Knights covering the 4.5 point spread (-117). Army is just 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games, 1-2 ATS in grass games this year, and 1-3 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points this year, but 5-0 SU.

They’re also 8-0 SU as a favorite, 10-1 SU on Saturdays, 5-1 SU on a neutral field, 2-0 in their last 2 bowl games, and 6-1 SU after winning two or more games this year.

Houston is 2-3 SU following a bye week, 0-2 SU in December games, 0-2 in their last 2 Bowl games, 0-4 ATS when playing on 2 or more weeks off, and 0-2 ATS as an underdog this season.

I think this game is going to be close in the end, but I like Army’s rushing attack and defense to win this bowl game for the Black Knights. I’m taking the Army moneyline of -195 for the Armed Forces Bowl Game.

Army vs Houston Betting Recap:

  • Oddsmaker: BetOnline
  • Moneylines: Army (-195) and Houston (+170)
  • Spread: Army -4.5 (-117)
  • Over/Under: 60 total points (-105)
  • Prediction: Army 30 – Houston 27
Pick: Army
-195

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Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site.

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