Army vs. Navy NCAAF First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (12/09/23)

Get Army vs. Navy First Touchdown picks & odds for the (12/09/23) matchup as well as a player prop search tool to optimize odds shopping for Saturday’s game.

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Army vs. Navy First Touchdown Picks

The goal of the First Touchdown prop is to identify which player will score the first touchdown of the game. Who will score the first touchdown in the Army vs. Navy matchup?

Braxton Woodson First Touchdown (+1100 FD)

This prop is heavily predicated on the availability of Tai Lavatai who is their starting quarterback but has missed the last four games while dealing with injuries the past two seasons. It’s expected that he will miss this game as well but is currently listed as questionable and would be an immediate pass if he for some reason was named the starter.

Assuming he is out, that puts Braxton Woodson back in the starting role. His volume alone gives instant value at this number as he led the Navy offense in carries in their last game against SMU. He finished the contest rushing for 104 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries, 10 more attempts than their next leading rusher Eli Heidenreich who finished with eight.

In a game that will most likely feature minimal scoring opportunities from both teams as the total is currently 27.5, that brings more value to those who feature a heavy workload as you want to maximize your scoring chances when attacking this market. Braxton does just that for Navy, getting the chance to exploit a weak Army front seven who has struggled to contain the run. 

While it’s worth noting that Army’s poor rush defense comes from having to defend actual run schemes, they are more equipped to slow down the triple option as that is what they are accustomed to. Still, their metrics are shockingly bad and make it worth adding some Navy players to this portfolio. As of writing, Army’s front seven ranks 114th in Def Rush Success Rate, 130th in Def Rush PPA, and 116th in Def Rush Explosiveness.

More intriguing yet, Braxton has at least flashed a passing ability. Not exactly the most lethal arm, but just being able to stretch out the Army defense when they are caught sleeping is more than enough to give their ground game a better chance to succeed. Navy does a good job at downfield blocking, giving Braxton the chance to take one to the house at a moment’s notice.

Noah Short First Touchdown (+1100 FD)

A receiving touchdown? In an Army vs Navy game? You betcha.

In the off-chance Army reverts to a heavier pass attack, expect lead receiver Noah Short to be involved as he led the team in receptions. Especially with Isaiah Alston out, giving Short more targets as Alston was their downfield threat.

Army has shown an ability to connect on the big play through the air, ranking third in Pass Explosiveness. Success has been rare for this unit, ranking 104th in Pass Success Rate, yet have shown to get the job done in the red zone by ranking league average in Pass PPA.

Better yet, rush success may be tough to come by as Navy has done a phenomenal job at stuffing the run. The Midshipmen ended the year ranked 15th in Def Rush Success Rate, 14th in Def Rush PPA, and 23rd in Def Rush Explosiveness. Factor in that they face a concept that they are very familiar with, and Army may be better off going through the air.

Bryson Daily First Touchdown (+600 FD)

It’s not exactly the most fun to take the shortest odds on the board in this market, but it’s hard to ignore the volume Army’s quarterback receivers in order to potentially cash this prop. Attacking volume is the name of the game with a contest that will feature a very low amount of scoring opportunities, meaning we need to maximize them by getting the most volume in our favor.

Bryson Daily has been the focal point of the Army offense, pacing the team in carries by finishing the year with 188 carries for 817 yards and seven touchdowns. That is 102 more carries than the next leading rusher, leading the team by a wide margin.

Navy may be a good run stopping team, but Army’s passing presence gives them the opportunity to at least move the ball down the field into scoring territory. Once in scoring territory, Daily has as good a chance as any to punch one in, whether that is via up the gut, fake pitch, or scrambling in a pass play.

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Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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