Free Military Bowl Prediction: Cavaliers vs Midshipmen Odds
Looking for Virginia Cavaliers vs. Navy Midshipmen free picks? Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman betting sees the Cavaliers taking on the Midshipmen Thursday December 28th at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NCAA football bowl season long so stay tuned for more FREE college football predictions like this Virginia Navy free pick.
College Football Handicapping: Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
(6-6) Virginia Cavaliers vs. Navy Midshipmen (6-6)
Date: Thursday, December 28th
Time: 1:30 pm EST
Venue: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
NCAA Football Spread: PICK
NCAA Betting Total: 55
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Two teams with .500 records meet after Christmas at the Naval Academy; not a far trek for either team, but truly a home game for the Midshipmen. Navy is coming off a razor-thin loss to rival Army in their annual tilt, which earned Army its first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 1996. Virginia, meanwhile, has to navigate the cannibalistic Atlantic Coast Conference every year. All of this is to say we should see some spirited play and a close game in Annapolis on Dec. 28.
A 14-13 loss to their rivals should have the Midshipmen playing with gusto, and while Navy probably doesn’t have the same talent on the roster as Virginia, that jilted feeling may just be the difference in the bowl game.
While the Cavs had a decent season going to the halfway point, they have approached bowl season with a whimper, including their goose-egg versus rival Virginia Tech in their last regular season game. Virginia’s defense played well in a 10-0 loss to V-Tech, but before that, the Cavs were exposed with conference losses to Boston College, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Miami. A lone win against Georgia Tech broke up that miserable streak.
If Virginia is to redeem itself somewhat in the Military Bowl, it must get a strong farewell game from QB Kurt Benkert, a senior who put up 3,062 yards passing and 25 TDs in 2017. Benkert’s favorite target is WR Olamide Zaccheaus, who grabbed 80 receptions, and also has dynamic senior WR Andre Levrone, who put up 662 yards and seven TDs on just 31 catches this year (good for a beefy 21.4 yards per catch). If Benkert can abuse Navy’s secondary with these targets, Virginia could be successful in its road bowl game.
A lovely story in Charlotteville this season (a community that needed one after all the civil unrest with the so-called alt-right earlier in the year) has been LB Micah Kiser, who, apart from being the best player on the defense, recently brought home some hardware with the William V. Campbell Trophy, awarded to college football’s top scholar-athlete.
Navy lost the storied Army-Navy Game on a missed field goal this year, which makes the one-point loss smart especially. The ‘Middies’ have owned Army in recent seasons, so perhaps they can take some solace in that.
Once again, the Naval Academy does what they always do with their football program – rack up prodigious yards with a multi-faceted run game. Quarterback Zach Abey does a lot more scrambling than chucking, as evidenced by his 1,325 rushing yards and 14 TDs to just 805 passing yards and seven pass TDs and interceptions apiece. Running back Malcolm Perry also chipped in with 1,068 rush yards and nine majors.
If Navy’s complex run game can stretch Virginia’s defense out from sideline to sideline, they should confound the Cavaliers and thrive off both the ball possession stats and the spirited Annapolis crowd.
What is quite amusing with this bowl match-up is the similarities with Navy and Virginia’s regular-season campaigns. The Middies won their first five games, followed by losing six of their next seven. This is truly an even contest in the Military Bowl.
Free Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman NCAA Football Pick
This is a real close one to call as both teams had basically mirror-image regular seasons and have a similar talent base. Maybe you want to give the edge to Virginia because of the level of weekly competition the Cavaliers face, but then again the Cavs have been having a miserable time with ACC colleagues lately. The Middies don’t have much else to brag about, of course, but they were a missed kick away from changing the recent vibe against their nemesis.
4* Free NCAA Betting Pick: Virginia -3.5.
Even though there should be a hearty chunk of Virginia fans that make the two and a half hour trek up I-95 to cheer their school on, this will be a raucously partisan crowd for Navy. Maybe that will be enough to swing a close match-up?
I will take Virginia grabbing the narrowest of victories, purely on the virtue of veteran Benkert’s arm. Hopefully we see an entertaining contest in Maryland on Dec. 28.
Military Bowl Free Score Prediction: Virginia 28 – Navy 24
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