Navy vs. Virginia, Military Bowl: Prediction, odds, pick, line, live stream, watch online
Everything you need to know to watch and pick the Military Bowl on Thursday
Navy and Virginia don't have far to travel for what should be a great atmosphere in Annapolis when they meet in the Military Bowl. This is Navy's second appearance in the Military Bowl in the last three years, and it's the 40th meeting between these two historic programs, though the first since 1994.
Navy: The 2017 season has been one of the toughest challenges for Ken Niumatalolo, the winningest coach in the history of Navy football, in the entirety of his decade-long career as coach of the Midshipmen. After back-to-back division titles, Navy went 4-4 in American Athletic Conference play and its 6-6 overall record was the worst finish since going 5-7 and missing the postseason in 2011. Navy dropped its second straight to Army for the first time in decades and enters this bowl game with three straight losses, desperately in need of some good fortune after a season defined mostly by injuries and close losses.
Virginia: The Wahoos are bowl eligible for the first time since 2011, finally breaking back into the postseason in Year 2 with Bronco Mendenhall at the helm. Mendenhall was 11 for 11 making the postseason as a head coach at BYU and it wasn't until last season (2-10) that he experienced a holiday season without a bowl game. The importance of reaching bowl eligibility was mentioned and stressed after Virginia punched its ticket with win No. 6 against Georgia Tech on Nov. 4, but after that, the season finished with three straight losses to Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech. This is a big spot for a senior-laden group to go out on a high note with a bowl win, particularly with a game that's in close proximity to its fans and alumni base.
This line has jumped all over the place. Virginia opened as a two-point favorite and now Navy is a narrow favorite, by one or 1.5 points, as we approach kickoff. I think the oddsmakers had it right to begin with and Virginia, though losers in their last three, is the better team in this matchup. The Wahoos have already faced the option offense once this year, beating Georgia Tech 40-36, and I think that preparation helps them in the matchup against Navy. The Midshipmen are playing at home and Malcolm Perry is a dangerous threat against any team, but I think Virginia has a talent edge that will make the difference in a close and competitive game. Pick: Virginia -2.5
So what side do you need to be all over in the Military Bowl? Visit SportsLine now to get a strong pick for Navy vs. Virginia from insider Emory Hunt, who's on a 14-5 run in college football against the spread picks.
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