By Ryan Mayer
The college football bowl season is upon us. With 40 games spread out over the next two weeks there is plenty of opportunity to add a little bonus to your holiday gift pile. Our bowl picks series will let you know who we think will come out on top against the spread. All lines and totals courtesy of Sportsline/Bookmaker.eu. Find all our picks here.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Louisiana Tech vs. #25 Navy
Spread: Louisiana Tech -4.5
Spread: The Midshipman are now down to their 3rd-string QB (Zach Abey) who will make just his second start following Navy’s 21-17 loss to Army on December 10th. That said, the Bulldogs don’t exactly come in exuding confidence as they dropped their final two games including a 58-44 loss to Western Kentucky in the Conference USA title game. On top of that, three of their top seven tacklers are questionable to play in this game. Linebackers Jordan Harris (94 tackles 2.5 TFL 1 sack) and Dalton Santos (47 tackles 3 TFL 0.5 sacks) are dealing with “academic issues” that caused them to miss the conference title game and could have them out for this one. Safety Secdrick Cooper is battling a neck injury and could miss this game because of it.
The Mids are dealing with plenty of injury issues on their own. Aside from losing Will Worth in the AAC title game, they also lost slotback Toneo Gulley for the year. That’s two huge contributors (1,623 yards 29 TDs combined) that Ken Niumatalolo’s crew have to adjust for. The biggest threat from the Bulldogs comes in the passing game where QB Ryan Higgins (65.8% 4,208 yards 37 TDs) has a pair of 1,000 yard receivers (Trent Taylor and Carlos Henderson) at his disposal. Niumatalolo and the offense should look better with Abey getting nearly two more full weeks of first team reps, but I still think the Bulldogs have a bit too much for the Mids to handle right now. Louisiana Tech -4.5
Total: Neither of these teams has been especially good at keeping opponents off of the scoreboard lately. Louisiana Tech has given up 32.6 points per game over the second half of the season including 97 points to Southern Miss and WKU in consecutive weeks. Navy has given up 33.7 on average in the second half of the year. This game, with so many key injuries on both sides, feels like a couple of depleted defensive units could give up a ton of points. Over 66.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.