Air Force Georgia Tech Spread Betting Line and Bowl Prediction

This year’s Independence Bowl on Monday December 27 (5:00pm ET) will feature the Falcons of Air Force (8-4) out of the Mountain West Conference squaring off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-6) from the ACC. Georgia Tech has lost four out of its last five games, falling 42-34 to Georgia on the road in their last game on November 27. The Yellow jackets need a victory in this game to extend their streak of consecutive winning seasons to 14. Air Force comes into the contest on a three-game winning streak, winning by a combined 125-65 in those games. They closed out the regular season with a 35-20 win over UNLV on November 18.

There does not figure to be a lot of balls flying through the air in this game, not with both teams ranking number 1 and 2 in the nation in rushing offense featuring the triple-option and combining for a total of 299 pass attempts on the season. The Yellow Jackets rank first in the nation with 327 YPG rushing while Air Force averaged 317.9 YPG on the ground.

Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt’s status is uncertain for this game as he is still recovering from a broken arm suffered on November 4 against Virginia Tech., If Nesbitt, who has run for 7373 yards and 10 touchdowns this season after receiving first-team All-ACC honors last season, is unable to go sophomore Tevin Washington, who has run for 289 yards and 3 TDs and passed for 282 yards and 2 TDS, will get the start. The offense sputtered under Washington and Nesbitt both down the stretch, averaging 20.6 PPG in the last five games after averaging 31.9 PPG for the first seven games. The defense also hit the skids late in the year, giving up 30.4 PPG over the last five games compared to 23.1 PPG over the first seven. The Yellow Jackets have allowed 26.2 PPG on the season and 378.7 YPG, in the middle of the pack nationally in both categories.

Junior Asher Clark is the leading rusher for Air Force with just over 1,000 yards and 5 TDs. Quarterback Tim Jefferson is the triggerman for the Falcon’s option offense, and has run for 769 yards and 15 TDs. Back Jared Tew could play in the game after being out since October 16 with a broken leg, and would give Georgia Tech another threat to deal with. On defense Air Force has given up 22.3 PPG, ranking 39th in the nation and allowed 351.8 YPG.

The Yellow Jackets have lost five straight bowl games, and coach Paul Johnson won his last five straight games over Air Force when he coached Navy from 2002-2007. Georgia Tech has won all three of the previous meetings between the two teams, with the last one coming in 1979.

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Air Force vs. Georgia Tech Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Air Force Falcons -2.5
@ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets +2.5

Game Total:

Over 55.5 (-110)
Under 55.5 (-110)

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Air Force vs. Georgia Tech Independence Bowl Predictions:

Spread Prediction (Top Play) – The Falcons look like the superior team in this contest. Air Force should be able to take advantage of Georgia Tech either playing without their starting QB, or playing against a not fully recovered version of Nesbitt. Georgia Tech has been in a downward trend the second half of the season and it is difficult to see what the impetus for reversing that trend would be in this game. Both teams will be familiar with defending the option, but Air Force will have less trouble defending against a weakened Georgia Tech offensive unit.

SPREAD PREDICTION (TOP PLAY) – Air Force -2.5

Over/Under Prediction – Take the over here as Georgia Tech has collapsed on defense down the stretch, and Air Force, which has averaged 32.3 PPG should be able to capitalize. This game could also see more passing than the conventional thinking would dictate as both teams are very familiar with each others style of play on offense and the respective coaches might look to go against tendencies somewhat to mix things up. With neither team possessing a run-stuffing defense the offenses should be able to take advantage enough to send the total over the relatively low bar of 55.5.

TOTAL PREDICTION – Over 55.5