Virginia Tech vs. Tulane: Prediction & Odds (12/27/23)

On Wednesday (12/27/23), Virginia Tech faces Tulane in the Military Bowl where Virginia Tech is a 10.5-point favorite. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the bowl game along with a full matchup preview. In addition, find our Virginia Tech vs. Tulane prediction & best bet which is under 44 points.

Virginia Tech Vs. Tulane Prediction

To properly understand this game from a betting standpoint, we have to head over to the bowl game tracker where we can find the latest opt outs, transfer portal updates, and injuries. There’s a ton to take note of on the Tulane side, starting with head coach Willie Fritz, who has accepted an offer to be Houston’s new head coach. Offensive coordinator Slade Nagle will be the interim coach for this game.

The Green Wave will also be without quarterback Michael Pratt, who is preparing for the NFL Draft. They’ll also be without wide receivers Chris Brazzell II (transfer) and Jha’Quan Jackson (opt out) while Lawrence Keys III could be out again after missing the final three games with an injury. Backup quarterback Kai Horton is in the portal as well, although he’s been practicing with the team and could play in the bowl game.

Regardless of who gets the start for Tulane at quarterback, they will likely look to lean on the run here. However, they rank a putrid 118th in rushing EPA per play, and they’re facing a Virginia Tech defense ranked 53rd in rushing success rate allowed. It’s tough to imagine Makhi Hughes gaining a ton of traction, especially without guard Prince Pines in the lineup. Virginia Tech can stack the box here and not be too worried about being beaten over the top.

Meanwhile, Tulane’s defense has been ravaged with five starters either opting out or entering the transfer portal, including edges Darius Hodges and Keith Cooper Jr., who have combined for 12.5 sacks. Defensive coordinator Shiel Wood is following Fritz to Houston, so the Green Wave take a hit on that end in coaching as well. Still, Tulane’s run defense ranks top 20 in EPA and success rate and should be mostly set.

Virginia Tech is almost entirely intact for this game in terms of their roster and coaching staff, which is why the spread has ballooned all the way to them being favored by 10.5 points. It’s tough for me to recommend backing them on that lofty of a spread, though, as they’re running straight into the strength of the Tulane defense. The only play I can have relative confidence in here is the under, although I’d recommend waiting to see if we can get it at a better number than 45 before kickoff.

Virginia Tech Vs. Tulane Prediction: Under 44 Points

Virginia Tech Vs. Tulane Best Odds

The spread for this game opened as low as -5.5 for Virginia Tech, and it has only climbed as we have gotten closer to kickoff. Meanwhile, the over/under has dropped from an open of 48.5 points down to the current 44 points. With the current numbers, we’re getting an implied final score of around 27-17.

Virginia Tech Vs. Tulane Key Matchups

While several Tulane players will miss this game, especially affecting the passing game, they’ll need to rely on freshman running back Makhi Hughes. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is reliant on its dynamic dual-threat quarterback Kyron Drones. Let’s break them down.

Kyron Drones Vs. Tulane’s Defense

The Virginia Tech offense settled in once Kyron Drones became the full time starting quarterback, and the Baylor transfer provided a dual threat presence capable of beating defenses in a variety of ways. He finished the season with just under 2,000 passing yards and 800 rushing yards with a combined 19 touchdowns.

Tulane did rank 38th in PFF coverage grades, but just 87th in passing success rate allowed, and the defense wasn’t as buttoned up as it was during their AAC Championship season last year. The Green Wave will send a variety of different blitz packages at Drones to keep him off rhythm, and it will be important for the Hokies to avoid third-and-long situations.

Makhi Hughes Vs. Virginia Tech’s Run Defense

It was a tall task to replace such a prolific running back in Tyjae Spears, but Makhi Hughes has had a strong season with 243 carries for 1,290 yards and seven touchdowns. However, he was bottled up in the AAC Championship against SMU where he was held to just 11 carries for 44 yards. Tulane’s blocking and run scheme have let them down at times, though, as they’re outside the top 110 teams in rushing EPA and success rate.

Virginia Tech’s run defense has had its ups and downs, ranking 53rd in success rate allowed but just 92nd in tackling according to PFF. If Hughes can get to the second level and make some linebackers miss, it would go a long way toward helping this makeshift Tulane offense get on the board.

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I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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