The Virginia Tech Hokies (6-6) face the Cincinnati Bearcats (10-2) on Monday afternoon in the 2018 Military Bowl from Maryland. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Monday, December 31st at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, Cincinnati is currently listed as a 6-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 53.5 points.
Military Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati
Cincinnati won four out of their last five games to close out the regular season, including a 56-6 beatdown over East Carolina their last time out. The Wildcats were basically unstoppable on offense, scoring 42 points in the two quarters to take a massive 42-6 lead into the locker room at halftime. QB Desmond Ridder was fantastic, passing for 335 yards and four touchdowns. The running back duo of Charles McLelland and Tavion Thomas both had big games out of the backfield, combining for 220 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries. WR Khalil Lewis also put up monster numbers, racking up 203 receiving yards and three touchdowns on nine receptions. As a whole, Cincinnati averaged 34.9 points per game during the regular season (25th overall).
The Bearcats were fantastic on the defensive side of the ball during the regular season, allowing opponents to score only 16.1 points per game (7th overall).
Virginia Tech waited until the last possible second to punch their ticket to this game, as they need to beat Marshall in a makeup game on December 1st for their sixth win of the season. The Hokies have certainly had an interesting regular season, starting with the loss of QB Josh Jackson in late-September during a stunning 49-35 loss to ODU. Jackson was outstanding in his freshman season, passing for 2,991 yards and 20 touchdowns. However, backup Ryan Willis performed quite admirably in his place, throwing for 2,497 yards and 22 touchdowns as a starter. He also added over 300 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Willis has certainly had a ton of help from both RB Steven Peoples (760 rushing yards and six touchdowns) and WR Damon Hazleton (745 receiving yards and eight touchdowns). Overall, Virginia Tech has averaged 29.8 points per game on offense (58th overall).
The Hokies really struggled on the the other side of the ball during the regular season, giving up an average of 30.7 points per game to opponents (85th overall).
2018 Military Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Cincinnati -6
I think that the Bearcats offer decent value in this particular spot, as they have clearly been the better team on both sides of the ball during the regular season. While Virginia Tech has been slightly above average on offense, they have been terrible on defense – especially on the ground. The Hokies are currently getting gashed for 206.5 rushing yards per game (105th overall). It certainly looks like another great spot for both McLelland and Thomas, who just torched ECU for over 200 yards and two touchdowns.
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Cincinnati is a very impressive 5-2 ATS over their last seven non-conference games. They were also 7-5 ATS in 12 games during the regular season and 4-2 ATS over their last six games away from Nippert Stadium. The Hokies went 5-7 ATS during the regular season and are a brutal 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
The only thing really going against the Bearcats in this particular spot is the weather, as they certainly won’t like playing in the frigid cold of Annapolis in late December. Still, Virginia Tech arguably shouldn’t even be in a bowl game, as they needed a last minute makeup win to lock up their sixth win of the season. They had several disappointing loses, including a double-digit defeat at the hands of ODU and a 30-point drubbing by Pitt. I’m happy to lay anything less than a touchdown in this matchup – give me Cincinnati to cover the number with ease on Monday afternoon.