Louisiana Tech vs Navy Armed Forces Bowl Prediction, 12-23-2016
Armed Forces Bowl Prediction by Greg Michaels of Oddsboard.com
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-5) vs Navy Midshipmen (9-4)
Friday December 23rd, 4:30pm EST
Game Preview, Total Prediction and Odds
Armed Forces Bowl Odds: Navy +6, 67.5
Louisiana Tech won the West Division of Conference USA but ran out of steam trying to keep up with the high-octane Western Kentucky offense in the conference title game. The Bulldogs have lost two straight but are 7-3 SU their last 10 games. The Bulldogs were in the midst of a 7 game win streak before ending the season on a sour note. Perhaps the time off was much needed for this Bulldogs team.
Points are almost guaranteed in Louisiana Tech’s games. The Over went 10-3 in their 13 games this season. They have an explosive offense which averaged 44 points PPG this season, 5th most in the country. However, their defense will give up its share of points as well. It finished 96th in scoring defense, allowing 32.7 points per game.
The offense is lead by QB Ryan Higgins who threw for 4,208 yards with 37 touchdowns and eight interceptions. RB Jarred Craft leads the Bulldogs with 174 carries for 1,011 yards and 6 TD’s. When you have an offense that airs it out there are sure to be receivers that benefit. Trent Taylor is the top receiving threat for the team with 124 catches for 1,570 yards and 10 scores. Carlos Henderson has 72 catches for 1,406 yards plus a team-leading 17 scores. Navy’s defensive backs will have a tough time keeping these two receivers in check.
Bulldogs Betting Trends
Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games
Bulldogs are 14-2 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
Over is 6-0 in Bulldogs last 6 games following a ATS loss
Navy looks to bounce back after a tough loss to Army, their first defeat to the Black Knights since 2001. The biggest hurdle the Midshipmen are facing is playing without their star QB Will Worth. Worth accounted for 8 TD’s in the air and 25 touchdowns on the ground. He was a large part of their offense and they had a trouble finding a supplement to the offense vs Army. It could be a long night for the Midshipmen if they haven’t figured out a solution.
The Navy offense relies on the run as they come into this contest ranked 4th in the nation averaging over 310 yards per game. This is an interesting matchup for Navy considering the LA Tech defense faired well vs the rush allowing only 134 rushing yards per game which ranked them 31st in the country. However, this rush defense hasn’t been put to the test quite like a Navy rush first attack.
Midshipmen Betting Trends
Midshipmen are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss
Midshipmen are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 bowl games
Under is 8-1 in Midshipmen last 9 neutral site games
LA Tech vs Navy Armed Forces Bowl Prediction
Navy’s game plan will be to control the clock with a heavy dose of the run and aim to keep the Louisiana Tech offense off the field. Their defense may not be able to completely stop the Bulldogs high octane offense but if they can run the clock out it will help their defense.
If Will Worth was still under center for Navy this is a different matchup. However, this Navy offense isn’t any where near as dynamic as they were during the regular season. If Navy isn’t careful, this game could get out of hand early. I think in the end, the Louisiana Tech offense will be way too much for Navy and the Bulldogs defense is decent enough to make key stops.
I think Louisiana Tech will have to alter their offense a bit considering how much time their defense could spend on the field. Too many quick strikes will only hurt their defense. Navy will eat up the clock and wear teams down with run after run. After looking at this matchup from every angle on offense through special teams, it’s apparent to me that Louisiana Tech will be too much for Navy and when the clock strikes 0:00 the Bulldogs will have won this bowl game and covered the -6 point spread.
Louisiana Tech vs Navy Armed Forces Bowl Prediction: Louisiana Tech -6