Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs Army Black Knights Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/11/2021

by Amedeus Mastrangelo

Game Time: 11:30 am ET, Saturday, September 11, 2021
Venue:  Michie Stadium, West Point, NY
Where to Watch:  CBS Sports


Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings:  Point Spread:  Hilltoppers +6.5, Black Knights -6.5; Over/Under:  54 points
Bet365:  Point Spread:  Hilltoppers +7, Black Knights -7; Over/Under:  53.5 points
BetMGM:  Point Spread:  Hilltoppers +7, Black Knights -7; Over/Under:  53.5 points

Season Record

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:  1-0 (1st place, C-USA East)
Army Black Knights:  1-0 (2nd place, Independents)
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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs Army Black Knights College Football Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:  won 1
Army Black Knights:  won 1

Offensive Analysis

Last season the Hilltoppers averaged a 56.4% completion percentage, 165.3 passing yards, and 1 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 125.7 rushing yards and 0.9 touchdowns per game on the ground. The Black Knights were averaging a 46.1% completion percentage, 44.8 passing yards, and 0.3 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 272.8 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns per game on the ground.

Defensive Analysis

Last season the Hilltoppers were allowing teams a 52.2% completion percentage, 177.3 passing yards, and 1.3 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 170.9 rushing yards and 1.7 touchdowns per game on the ground. The Black Knights were allowing teams a 58.4% completion percentage, 160.8 passing yards, and 1.3 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 114.6 rushing yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game on the ground.


Hilltoppers vs Black Knights Prediction

Western Kentucky will be playing Army on September 11 in this NCAA game to honor and commemorate the 20th anniversary of the tragedy. The Air Force Falcons schedule has the Falcons’ game taking on Navy this weekend. The Navy Midshipmen and the Air Force Academy Falcons football team will be playing each other on that date. The Army-Navy game will be held in December in New York City. The Air Force Falcons football game will not be played at Falcon Stadium.

The WKU Hilltoppers are coming into this matchup sitting in 1st place of the C-USA East conference with a 1-0 record. They won their first FBS college football game of the regular season schedule 59-21 against UT Martin. Bailey Zappe played a phenomenal game completing 28/35 passes for 424 yards, 7 touchdowns and 1 interception. Carson Baker even got a little action completing 1/1 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Kye Robichaux led the team in rushing with 44 yards while Adam Cofield was not far behind him with 40 rushing yards on the day. The receivers had a great day with 6 different players finding the end zone in this one. Jerreth Sterns led the way with 107 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 receptions. Daewood Davis was 2nd with 83 yards and 1 TD while Josh Simon had 73 receiving yards and found the end zone twice. Antwon Kincade led the defense with 5 solo tackles and 2 assisted tackles while Michael Pitts recorded the only sack on the team in that game. Miguel Edwards also had 3 tackles and 1 interception for the team.

Army football are coming into this game sitting in 2nd place of the Independents conference with a 1-0 record. They won their season opener of the football schedule against Georgia State 43-10 with some weak stats in the passing game despite scoring 43 total points. Christian Anderson led the passing game completing 1/2 passes for 40 yards and 1 touchdown. Jemel Jones also threw a touchdown pass completing 1/1 passes for 32 yards. Just a quick summary of the Army Black Knights highlights how their passing game is pretty much non-existent. Anderson also led the running game with 55 yards and 1 touchdown on 15 carries. Jakobi Buchanan, Tyson Riley, and AJ Howard also found the end zone on the ground with a touchdown each. Tyrell Robinson led the receivers with 40 yards and 1 touchdown on 1 reception. Braheam Murphy also found the end zone on 1 reception for 32 yards. Marquel Broughton led the defense with 4 solo tackles while Jabari Moore caught the 1 interception for them. 

The Army West Point Black Knights basically have no passing game as they are a very run heavy team making them 1-dimensional so they play with a bit of a handicap because of that. Western Kentucky has shown in their first game that they can run and throw the ball very well. The bookmakers have the average price for the Hilltoppers' odds listed as an underdog by about a touchdown. If Army gets down by a few touchdowns early in this game against these opponents, they may not have the ability to come back with their run-heavy offense. That could get them into big trouble here so the value for bettors to place wagers on is on Western Kentucky to cover that spread and even upset them in the game on the money line.

Hilltoppers Black Knights Prediction:  Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, September 11, 2021 (11:30 pm ET start time) is Hilltoppers 27 Black Knights 20.
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NCAAF Betting Trends

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: 5-0 ATS as a road underdog of 7 points or less. 7-4 ATS in road games.
Army Black Knights: 14-12 ATS in all games. 8-6 ATS in home games.

Key Injuries

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:  J. Simon (TE) Ques Sat - Knee injury. J. Moses (RB) out for season - Knee injury. D. Smith (WR) Ques Sat - Undisclosed injury.
Army Black Knights:  T. Tyler (QB) Prob Sat - Ankle injury.

Players to Watch

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: Bailey Zappe is in the midst of having a great season after the following year. He threw for over 400 yards in their last game and 7 touchdowns. He will want to continue that into this game as the passing game gives them a major advantage over this Army side as they look for a road triumph. 
Army Black Knights: Christian Anderson is one player to watch in this game. He led the team in passing and rushing so there will be some stress on him to lead his team to a victory in this game. Watch to see what he does here as they look for a home victory. 

Notable Quotes

"Honestly, if I was giving you negative news you should worry. Right now, I am very positive, I love where we are at. They've completely bought into the system and there is no if, ands, or buts about it." - Stephen Hamby on his offensive line coming into the season.

Starting Lineups

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
WR Tinsley, Mitchell 
WR Davis, Daewood 
WR Sterns, Jerreth 
TE Simon, Joshua 
QB Zappe, Bailey 
RB Moses, Jakairi 
Army Black Knights
WR Donaldson, Reikan 
TE Lingenfelter, Joshua 
QB Tyler, Tyhier 
RB Riley, Tyson 
SB Robinson, Tyrell 
SB Walters, Brandon 

Statistic Leaders

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Passing: B. Zappe (424)
Rushing: K. Robichaux (44)
Receiving: J. Sterns (107)
Touchdowns: J. Sterns (2)
Sacks: M. Pitts (1)
Tackles: A. Kincade (5)
Army Black Knights
Passing: C. Anderson (40)
Rushing: C. Anderson (55)
Receiving: T. Robinson (40)
Touchdowns: C. Anderson (1)
Sacks: A. Carter II (3)
Tackles: M. Broughton (4)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers: Tyson Helton (3rd season)
Army Black Knights: Jeff Monken (8th season)

Weather Forecast

71 degrees F mostly sunny, 62% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 8 mph wind speeds W.

Amedeus Mastrangelo

About the Author:

Amedeus Mastrangelo has been heavily wagering on all sports for years and plays just about everything, including sides, totals, favorites, underdogs, against the spread, alternative spreads, first half, second half, player props, and futures. The bottom line is, if Mastrangelo can see an edge in any way shape or form, then he's going to take advantage.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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