Last Updated Dec 22, 2021, 10:36 AM

Armed Forces Bowl Picks, Predictions and Odds: Missouri vs. Army

Dec. 22, 2021
Jonathan Willis
VI Betting Expert

The Army Black Knights will partake in this year's Armed Forces Bowl as the military school representative, taking on the SEC's Missouri Tigers. Opening kick is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

Score Prediction

Missouri 27, Army 24

Best Bets

Missouri +6 (-110) at South Point

Armed Forces Bowl Predictions

The Army Black Knights are 3-0 all-time in the Armed Forces Bowl. They first won this game in 2010, and they won this bowl game in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018. Jeff Monken is looking to take the Black Knights to their fourth win in Fort Worth, but the Missouri Tigers are a more game opponent than you might think at first glance.

On paper, Army should dominate this game. The Black Knights run the ball better than almost any team in the country, and Missouri has been bad at stopping the run. However, teams can scheme against the triple option with time, and the Tigers have had almost a month to prepare for this offense.

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Armed Forces Bowl Betting Odds

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Armed Forces Bowl Betting Resources

  • Matchup: SEC vs. Independent
  • Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
  • Venue: Amon G. Carter Stadium
  • Location: Fort Worth, Texas
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET

Missouri Tigers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-6
  • ATS: 3-9
  • O/U: 7-5

Tyler Badie has been the star of this offense. Badie has run for over 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, averaging 6.0 YPC. The SEC’s leading rusher has been boom or bust though with five games of more than 200 yards and six games of less than 85 yards. No one else on Missouri has 25 carries or over 150 rushing yards on the year.

Although the run game is solid, Connor Bazelak has had a hard time moving the ball through the air. He is completing 65.3% of his passes for 6.8 YPA with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. This offensive line only allowed him to be sacked 13 times, but he has not thrown for more than 230 yards in a game since October 2.

However, both Badie and Bazelak will not play in this game for Mizzou as redshirt freshman Brady Cook will get the start at quarterback.

Tauskie Dove is the big play receiver with 15.8 YPR, while Badie leads the team with 54 receptions. The only other player with more than 25 catches is Keke Chism, and he is a potential problem for Army at 6’5 and 214 pounds.

This Missouri defense has not been good. The Tigers are allowing 35.3 PPG and 451.9 YPG, ranking outside the top 100 in both categories. They are conceding 5.3 YPC and 223.4 YPG, but they have had time to game plan for the triple option.

Army Black Knights Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-4
  • ATS: 6-6
  • O/U: 5-7

Chase Anderson is Army’s best quarterback. Anderson is the second-leading rusher on the team with 586 yards (5.9 YPC) and seven touchdowns, and he has had some success through the air. He has completed 28 of 59 passes for 653 yards and five touchdowns without an interception.

Army is known for its triple option and ground game though. Tyrell Robinson leads the Black Knights in rushing thanks to some explosive runs (9.1 YPC), while the most frequent runners have been Tyhier Tyler and Jakobi Buchanan. Eight players have at least 30 carries for Army though.

The only receiver to watch is Isaiah Alston. He has 19 catches for 419 yards and three touchdowns on the season. The next three top receivers are running backs, but only one other player has more than five receptions.

The defense ranks 17th in total defense (334.0 YPG). Army is allowing just 3.9 YPC, but the Black Knights haven’t played a lot of teams that can run the ball well. They have really struggled in the secondary too, allowing 8.7 YPA.

Inside the Stats - Missouri Tigers

  • Record: 6-6
  • VI Ranking: 50
  • Points Scored: 356
  • Points Allowed: 416
  • PS/G: 29.7 (57th)
  • PA/G: 34.7 (116th)

Inside the Stats - Army Black Knights

  • Record: 8-4
  • VI Ranking: 46
  • Points Scored: 403
  • Points Allowed: 268
  • PS/G: 33.6 (26th)
  • PA/G: 22.3 (36th)

Key Players to Watch

  • MIZZ: Connor Bazelak - QB (245/376, 2,540 yards, 16 TD, 11 INT)
  • MIZZ: Tyler Baddie - RB (268 carries, 1,612 yards, 14 TD)
  • ARMY: Christian Anderson - QB (28/59, 653 yards, 5 TD/100 carries, 592 yards, 8 TD)
  • ARMY: Jakobi Buchanan - RB (115 carries, 436 yards, 11 TD)

Armed Forces Bowl Betting Conclusion

If this was a regular season game, Army would be the pick. However, the extra time and practices makes Missouri the play. The Tigers have better athletes than the Black Knights, and they should have the proper motivation given the recruiting class that Eli Drinkwitz brought to Columbia.

Armed Forces Bowl Betting Trends

  • Army has covered the spread in four of its last six games when playing away from West Point.
  • Army has failed to cover the spread in five of its last seven games when playing as the favorite.
  • Missouri has failed to cover the spread in nine of its last 12 games.

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