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Posted at 11:10 AM EST.
Monday, December 31st, 2018 – Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium – Annapolis, MD
Virginia Tech +6½ -103 over Cincinnati
12:00 PM EST. The Bearcats enter with a 10-2 record, can likely finish this season ranked with a win here, and own one of the best statistical defenses in America. One would deduce from these accolades alone that the Bearcats should cover easy here against a Virginia Tech team that still cannot live down losing to Old Dominion in September when it was ranked in the top-15.
Then you have the X’s and O’s too. Va Tech hasn't stopped anyone on the ground over its past eight games and now has to deal with a 1,100-yard back in Michael Warren II and a QB who has the potential to run in Desmond Ridder. The Hokies also have to deal with a top-10 team in terms of defensive efficiency. Both are big selling points for Cincinnati but have you seen the Bearcats schedule? They went to OT against SMU and could’ve lost. They beat UCLA to open the season but were a 13-point dog. They also beat UConn, Tulane, Ohio by four and Alabama A&M. The Bearcats didn’t just lose to UCF, they got crushed. Statistical ranking are nice when everyone is playing the same teams, like the NHL for instance but what we have with the Bearcats statistical rankings is nothing but a bunch of skewed numbers. Don’t buy into it.
Whether it be a win or a loss, bowl games are a dime a dozen for the Hokies, as they have been in one every year dating back to 1993. This is an outfit that takes pride in its legacy as a winning program and that is why it was so imperative for them to continue their bowl streak in 2018 by whatever means they had to resort to. Va Tech overcame a lot this season to get here, as they lost three projected starters, including both starting CBs over the summer, and then two more starters during the season. That said, there is an abundance of talent on the Hokies and while some may suggest that this is not the bowl game they envisioned at the start of the year, do know that this game will be played 225 miles from their campus so the fans will be on hand in droves. Hokies’ fans travel well.
Va Tech was 4-6 team and then overcame cross-state rival Virginia in the Commonwealth Cup in overtime to put itself in position to make a last-minute scheduled clash with Marshall a viable option to get back to another bowl game. The Hokies clawed and scratched their way into this affair but they are not close to being satisfied. Justin Fuente is 2-1 in bowl games, the Hokies have faced the tougher schedule and will have extra motivation knowing that they’re almost a touchdown underdog despite being a Power Five team taking on a Group of Five opponent. Upset possibility is high in this one.
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Virginia Tech +6½ -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)