As the clock ticks ever closer to the college football playoffs, the excitement continues to rise. The good news is that rather than staring at the countdown clock, we can turn on the TV and enjoy some bowl game action. Things really start to heat up this week, with many of the games on tap featuring teams that finished ranked in the top 25 or just outside. There are 4 games on the schedule for Thursday, and while the first of those games feature a pair of teams that finished 6-6 on the season, it’s still a match-up that should be incredibly entertaining to watch, and you will be all set to enjoy it with our the Military Bowl betting analysis.
The Navy Midshipmen have what amounts to a home game in this one, and it should be a good challenge for them with the Virginia Cavaliers coming to town. This is going to be a tough one to call, especially since the bookies have it so tight, but by digging into the stats, maybe we can come up with a winning ticket or two. The Midshipmen are favored by 1 ½, with the point total set at 55.
Cavaliers vs. Midshipmen 2017 Military Bowl Betting Analysis & Expert Pick
- When: Thursday, December 28 at 1:30 PM EST
- Where: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: 94.3 FM (Virginia) / 1050 AM (Navy)
- Live Stream: Watch ESPN
- Military Bowl Betting Odds: Navy Midshipmen -1.5 (Over/Under at 55)
- Clear: -4°C/24°F
- Humidity: 38%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Cloud Cover: 8%
- Wind: 7 mph N
- Stadium Type: Open
- All: Virginia Cavaliers 6-6 / Navy Midshipmen 6-6
- Home: Virginia Cavaliers 4-3 / Navy Midshipmen 4-2
- Away: Virginia Cavaliers 2-3 / Navy Midshipmen 2-4
- ATS: Virginia Cavaliers 6-6 / Navy Midshipmen 6-5-1
- Over/Under: Virginia Cavaliers 5-7 / Navy Midshipmen 4-8
Why bet on the Virginia Cavaliers?
The Cavaliers may have only finished 6-6 on the year, but that was actually a good bounce back for a program that has been struggling in recent years. That said, it was a rough finish to the regular season for the Cavaliers, as they lost 5 of their last 6, including the final 3 games of the season. This team did not get 6 wins by playing great offense, as they only managed 23 PPG this year. Defensively, this was a tough team to break down, giving up 26 PPG, and allowing less than 180 YPG through the air.
They were a little susceptible on the ground, which could play into the hands of the Midshipmen. Virginia went 6-6 ATS this season, and was actually a little better on the road, going 3-2 ATS. Given their lack of offense, it is perhaps no real surprise that 7 of their 12 games went UNDER.
- Average Score For: 23.83
- Total Yards: 356.16
- Rush Yards: 98.83
- Passing Yards: 257.33
- Average Score Against: 26.67
- Total Yards: 358.66
- Rush Yards: 179.08
- Passing Yards: 179.58
Why bet on the Navy Midshipmen?
The Navy Midshipmen started this season well enough, but ended it in a similar style to the Cavaliers, losing 6 of their last 7. If you have ever watched Navy play, you probably already know that they don’t put the ball in the air very often, averaging around 83 passing YPG this season. They run a triple option offense where the ball stays on the ground, which is why they averaged 343 YPG on the ground.
While bowl games tend to be played on neutral territory, this one is going down at the home of the Navy Midshipmen, which gives them a serious advantage given that they have won 20 of their last 25 games at home. Bowl games have been very kind to Navy in recent years, as they have gone 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games.
- Average Score For: 28.92
- Total Yards: 426.75
- Rush Yards: 343.00
- Passing Yards: 83.75
- Average Score Against: 27.92
- Total Yards: 386.59
- Rush Yards: 164.92
- Passing Yards: 221.67
Latest Military Bowl Betting Trends
- Virginia is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
- Virginia is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
- Navy is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games
- Navy is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Navy’s last 7 games
- Virginia is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games on the road
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I figure this one is going to be as close as the line suggests, and I believe it will be Navy who take advantage of playing on home-field. Let’s go with the Midshipmen to win and cover, and the point total to go OVER.
Score: Virginia Cavaliers 27 – Navy Midshipmen 30