Virginia Cavaliers vs Navy Midshipmen Military Bowl Football Betting Odds and Free NCAA Picks


Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia Cavaliers
(6-6)
1:30 pm ET, Thursday, December 28, 2017
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis
Navy Midshipmen
Navy Midshipmen
(6-6)
ESPN
 
Virginia Cavaliers vs Navy Midshipmen Military Bowl Football Betting Odds and Free NCAA Picks

Virginia enters the Military Bowl against Navy on somewhat of a high, qualifying for a postseason berth for the first time in six years.

Although the Cavaliers (6-6) are in the midst of a three-game losing streak, the disappointment of a 2-10 season a year ago seems long past. In only his second year as Virginia's coach, Bronco Mendenhall directed the Cavaliers to a bowl bid.

Navy (6-6) will try to overcome a low stretch when it plays host to the Cavaliers on Thursday at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The Midshipmen lost their last three games to Notre Dame, Houston and rival Army. They will play in a bowl game for the 14th time in 15 seasons.

The Cavaliers started the season 5-1, including a road victory over Mountain West champion Boise State, before struggling at season's end. Virginia lost five of their last six games, including three in a row to Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech. The rival Hokies shut them out 10-0.

Quarterback Kurt Benkert is a significant reason why the Cavaliers reached the postseason again. He has thrown for 3,062 yards with 25 touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

He is the first Virginia quarterback to eclipse 3,000 yards in a season. Matt Schaub's school record of 2,976 passing yards stood since 2002.

Against Miami's quality defense, Benkert threw for 384 yards and a season-best four touchdowns.

Benkert must handle the pressure of generating all the offense because Virginia's running game is meager. The Cavaliers rank 125th out of 129 FBS teams in rushing offense (67.8 yards per game).

Benkert will engineer Virginia's offense against a Navy defense that is not spectacular but is not bad either. The Midshipmen rank 59th in total defense, yielding 386.6 yards per game. They are 61st in pass defense, allowing 221.7 yards per game.

While Virginia runs a pro-style passing offense, Navy operates out of the run-oriented triple option. The Midshipmen move the ball efficiently, averaging 426.8 yards per game, which ranks No. 42 in the nation. They are No. 2 nationally in rushing offense with 343 yards a game, trailing only Army (362.3 yards per game).

Mendenhall can show his defense films of the game against ACC Coastal Division rival Georgia Tech, which runs a similar offense as Navy. The Cavaliers need plenty of preparation. They have allowed 178.3 yards per game on the ground, including 220 gained by Georgia Tech in Virginia's 40-36 win on Nov. 4.

Despite the struggles on defense, the Cavaliers have a couple of players who probably will play on Sundays later in their careers. Middle linebacker Micah Kiser and safety Quin Blanding both were named first-team All-ACC and are currently first and second in the conference in tackles.

Kiser's 134 tackles rank seventh in the country, while Blanding's 121 this season enabled him to pass Jamie Sharper as Virginia's career tackles leader.

Kiser also has 9.5 tackles for losses, five sacks and two fumble recoveries. Blanding has four interceptions. Mendenhall needs stellar performances out of both.

Kiser attended the Gilman School in Baltimore, which is only 25 miles from Annapolis.

Navy has the advantage of playing at home, getting to avoid the logistical nightmare some teams face in bowl games in terms of equipment and an adequate training setup.

Instead of having his team practice at a high school in Washington, Niumatalolo opted to keep the workouts at the Naval Academy.

"We can have our training room, our weight room, our equipment room and our meeting rooms," Niumatalolo said. "I just think from a preparation standpoint, you can't beat your own facilities."

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Virginia Cavaliers vs Navy Midshipmen VDB Sport Betting Odds and Predictions

Virginia Cavaliers vs Navy Midshipmen Betting Odds

Gm# Team
Opener
241 Virginia Cavaliers
54
242 Navy Midshipmen
PK

Vegas Daily Betting Free Prediction: Navy Midshipmen PK and Over/Under 52 according to Bovada Sportsbook

Team Records

Virginia Cavaliers

Name Record Home Away ATS ATS Home ATS Away Offense Defense Diff
Overall 6-6 4-3 2-3 6-6 3-4 3-2 23.83 26.67 -2.84
vs Conf 3-5 2-2 1-3 4-4 2-2 2-2 20.13 29.38 -9.25
Last 3 0-3 0-1 0-2 1-2 0-1 1-1 16.33 30.67 -14.34

Navy Midshipmen

Name Record Home Away ATS ATS Home ATS Away Offense Defense Diff
Overall 6-6 4-2 2-4 6-5-1 2-3-1 4-2 28.92 27.92 1.00
vs Conf 4-4 3-1 1-3 4-3-1 2-1-1 2-2 28.38 29.13 -0.75
Last 3 0-3 0-1 0-2 1-2 0-1 1-1 14.67 20.67 -6.00

Betting Odds Trends

Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Virginia is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
Virginia is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games on the road
Virginia is 3-22 SU in its last 25 games on the road

Navy Midshipmen

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
Navy is 3-5-2 ATS in its last 10 games at home
Navy is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games at home

 

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Injuries

Virginia

Player   Status/Updated Notes
Micah Kiser LB Prob Thurs - Thumb - 12/22/17 Kiser is expected to suit up against Navy in the Military Bowl despite an injured thumb.
Warren Craft WR Out indefinitely - Undisclosed - 11/18/17 Craft has been sidelined for undisclosed reasons and it is unclear when he might return to the lineup.
Ben Hogg WR out for season - Undisclosed - 10/9/17 Hogg is likely to be sidelined for the remainder of the season due to an unspecified injury.
Tim Harris CB out for season - Wrist - 9/5/17 Harris will miss the remainder of the season due to a wrist injury.
Cole Blackman WR out for season - Leg - 8/13/17 Blackman is expected to miss the entire 2017 season due to a broken left tibia and fibula.

Navy

Player   Status/Updated Notes
Anthony Gargiulo FB Prob Thurs - Ankle - 12/27/17 Gargiulo has an ankle injury but is expected to play against Virginia in the Military Bowl.
Keoni-Kordell Mahekau RB Ques Thurs - Concussion - 12/27/17 Mahekau is dealing with a concussion and it is unclear if he will play in the Military Bowl against Virginia.
Jerry Thompson LB Ques Thurs - Arm - 12/22/17 Thompson has missed the last two games due to an arm injury and it is unclear if he will play in the Military Bowl against Virginia.
Tre Walker RB out for season - Knee - 9/28/17 Walker is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.

Recent Meetings

  Yard Margins
Date Away Home H Line ATS Tot Rus Pas
9/10/94 UVA 47 NAVY 3 25/- L/- 0 0 0
9/11/93 NAVY 0 UVA 38 -25/- W/- 0 0 0
9/12/92 UVA 53 NAVY 0 20/- L/- 0 0 0
9/14/91 NAVY 10 UVA 17 -30.5/- L/- 0 0 0
9/15/90 NAVY 14 UVA 56 -27/- W/- 0 0 0
9/13/86 UVA 10 NAVY 20 6/- W/- 0 0 0
9/28/85 NAVY 17 UVA 13 -13/- L/- 0 0 0

Virginia Last 10

  Yard Margins
Date vs Score Line ATS Tot Rus Pas
11/24/17 VT L 0-10 7/48.5 L/U -154 -197 43
11/18/17 @ MIA L 28-44 20/49.5 W/O 81 -93 174
11/11/17 @ LOU L 21-38 13.5/66 L/U -216 -235 19
11/4/17 GT W 40-36 7.5/50.5 W/O -42 -123 81
10/28/17 @ PITT L 14-31 1/49 L/U 4 -74 78
10/21/17 BC L 10-41 -7/48.5 L/O -265 -142 -123
10/14/17 @ UNC W 20-14 -3/53.5 W/U 148 -55 203
10/7/17 DUKE W 28-21 1/52.5 W/U 55 -3 58
9/22/17 @ BSU W 42-23 13.5/50 W/O 57 137 -80
9/16/17 CONN W 38-18 -10.5/50 W/O 192 -36 228

Navy Last 10

  Yard Margins
Date vs Score Line ATS Tot Rus Pas
12/9/17 ARMY L 13-14 -2.5/44.5 L/U 55 73 -18
11/24/17 @ HOU L 14-24 6.5/55 L/U -89 114 -203
11/18/17 @ ND L 17-24 21/58.5 W/U -9 114 -123
11/11/17 SMU W 43-40 -1.5/66 W/O 133 394 -261
11/2/17 @ TEM L 26-34 -6.5/51.5 L/O -31 32 -63
10/21/17 UCF L 21-31 10/64.5 P/U -64 1 -65
10/14/17 @ MEM L 27-30 3/72.5 P/U -63 196 -259
10/7/17 AFA W 48-45 -7.5/53.5 L/O -64 131 -195
9/30/17 @ TLSA W 31-21 -8.5/70.5 W/U 167 192 -25
9/23/17 CIN W 42-32 -8.5/52.5 W/O 183 511 -328

 

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