Houston Cougars vs. Army Black Knights Preview, Prediction, Free Pick, 12-22-2018

Houston Cougars vs. Army Black Knights Preview, Prediction, Free Pick, 12-22-2018

Houston Cougars (8-4) vs Army Black Knights (10-2)

Date : 12/22/2018
Time : 3:30 PM
Location : Amon G. Carter Stadium

Pick, Prediction, & Preview:

Houston Cougars vs Army Black Knights

The Army Black Knights and Houston Cougars will meet up in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium, the opening kickoff is slated for 3:30 PM. The Black Knights don’t play in a conference but they were one of the top independent teams in the country as they hit the 10-win mark while the Cougars were knocked out of contention for the West division in the American Athletic Conference during the final game of the season.

Houston Cougars's Latest Performance :

The Houston Cougars looked destined to play in the AAC Championship game after a good start to the season but injuries to their star DT and QB plateaued this team as they lost 3 of their last 4 games. Starting QB D’Eriq King went down with a season-ending injury against Tulane a few weeks back which is a major blow to this high-powered offense as he has racked up 2982 passing yards, 36 TDs, and 6 interceptions as well as contributed 674 rushing yards and 14 TDs. Now starting at QB is true freshmen Clayton Tune and although he has talent we have seen his youth come into play down the stretch. In the Cougars latest outing Tune attempted 43 passes where he only completed 18 of them for a total of 256 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 interception. Tune also isn’t as effective on the ground as King as he was only able to gain 12 yards on 13 carries which is a difference-maker in the RPO offense. The Cougars have been trying to get RB Patrick Carr more involved in the offense and he played a big part against Memphis with 12 carries for 83 yards. With injuries to the QB position, Carr may see an increased responsivity which isn’t a bad thing as the junior has compiled 816 yards and 5 TDs. WR Keith Corbin had a huge outing for the Cougars as he was able to rack up 4 catches for a total of 61 yards and 2 TDs which extended his season total to a team-high 10 TDs. The defense has looked terrible this season especially with future 1st round pick Ed Oliver sitting out the past few games. Senior LB Austin Robinson was able to have a solid outing against Memphis with 11 tackles while Sophomore DB Gleson Sprewell contributed 2 interceptions.

Army Black Knights's Latest Performance :

The Army Black Knights are one of the few teams in college football who still uses the triple-option attack but as we saw on display all season long it is effective as the Black Knights won 10 games for a 2nd consecutive year. The Black Knights QB Kelvin Hopkins was a pocket-passer coming out of high school and we have seen the coaching staff grow more trust in the junior as he has attempted 90 passes this season where he completed 48 of them for a total of 956 yards, 6 TDs, and 3 interceptions. Although he did an effective job of passing against Navy (61 yards) he presence was felt more so on the ground. Hopkins led the way for the Black Knights with 18 carries for 62 yards and 2 TDs. Hopkins has been one of the top weapons for the Black Knights this season as he enters the postseason 2nd on the team with 852 yards and 12 TDs. The leading rusher for the Black Knights is FB Darnell Woolfolk and senior has a solid outing against Navy as he picked up 62 yards on 16 carries, Woolfolk has a team-high 885 yards and 14 TDs. Junior RB Kell Walker had the best game in terms of making plays through the air as he racked up 2 catches for 30 yards. The Black Knights defense has been good all season long and we saw them on full display against rival Navy as they kept them to 10 points. Junior safety Jaylon McClinton had the biggest outing out of any Black Knight as he had a team-high 9 tackles while also contributing an interception.

How Houston Cougars & Army Black Knights Matchup.

Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:

Houston is 6-6 ATS

Army is 6-4-2 ATS

In-Depth Analysis of each team:

Houston ranks 4th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 46.4 PPG while Army ranks 60th as they score an average of 29.7 PPG.

Army ranks 13th in the nation in team defense as they held opponents to an average of 18 PPG while Houston ranks 107th as they hold opponents to an average of 34.4 PPG.

Against The Spread Selection: Army Black Knights -3.5

My reason for the pick :

The Army Black Knights are a fun team to watch for the sole reason of their triple-option offense shredding teams on the ground but as good as the offense has been the defense has been even better. The Knights will win this game because they will hold the ball for most of the game and run the clock with the occasional 1-yard TD runs which will allow for their defense to stay off the field. Houston has one of the top offenses in the nation even without their starting QB but we saw Army bring Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray to OT on the road who by the way runs the #1 offense in the nation. Army will continue playing good defense against an injury-depleted offense and they will run away with this game on the ground.

Betting trends for Houston Cougars:

  • Houston is 6-1 ATS as an underdog since 2015.

Betting trends for Army Black Knights:

  • Army is 4-3-2 ATS after a win this season.


I am a sports enthusiast and watch every sport from the NFL to the NHL with everything in between. I have followed sports since I was a young kid and have studied deep into statistics for teams, and players. I am always looking for transactions within sports and find in an interest in every game. Playing every sport growing up has led me to understand every game and look for certain trends and stats.