Air Force vs. Wyoming Odds & Picks: Can Cowboys Cover Huge Spread? (Feb. 19)
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Hunter Maldonado (24) and Graham Ike (33).
- Wyoming and Air Force meet in Saturday afternoon Mountain West college basketball action.
- The Cowboys enter as huge favorites of -15.5, according to updated odds.
- Check out Kyle Remillard's full betting preview and top pick for this MWC game below.
Air Force vs. Wyoming Odds
|Air Force Odds|
-114o / -106u
-114o / -106u
There is a clear line in the sand between the top- and the bottom-half teams in the Mountain West Conference. This matchup will feature a team from each half as Air Force looks to play spoiler to Wyoming’s regular-season championship hopes.
Wyoming is fresh off its best week of the season where the group defeated the top two teams in the conference in Colorado State and Boise State. Those victories propelled the Cowboys to the top of the Mountain West standings.
Wyoming’s time as the top seed was short lived as it slipped up last time out on the road at New Mexico.
Air Force sits among the bottom two teams in the Mountain West, losing six games straight. The last five have been by an average margin of 23 points. The last time the Falcons didn’t lose by double digits was at home against Wyoming in a two-point loss.
Replicating that effort won’t be easy against Wyoming who will surely be fired up to get back to its winning ways.
The Falcons opened the season up 7-1 thanks to a soft non-conference schedule. The success was unsustainable once the schedule toughened and led to the program dropping 13 of its last 16 games.
Air Force plays with a bottom-15 tempo in the nation. Combining the slow pace with a putrid offense has led the group to the 352nd-scoring offense, averaging 59 points per game.
Senior guard AJ Walker is the main source of offense for Air Force, putting up 15 points per game. Walker has been prone to some subpar games recently, as he was held to just three points against UNLV and eight points against Utah State. In those two games the team scored just 44 and 46 points which proves the importance of his production.
The offense has had a serious issue with taking care of the basketball, as it turns the ball over on 22% of its offensive possessions. The lack of size has prevented the Falcons from securing offensive or defensive rebounds at a solid rate.
Defensively the group has been terrible at defending inside the perimeter, as opponents hit 53% from two-point range. That ranks outside the top 300, and now the Falcons match up against a Wyoming offense that converts at the eighth-best rate from two-point range at 57%.
Wyoming has continued to impress and sits just half a game back from first place in the Mountain West. But when the Cowboys play at Arena-Auditorium, the group takes it up a notch.
The program averages 83 points per game when playing at home, 13 more than when it travels. Wyoming has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 17 points at Arena-Auditorium. Much of that is thanks to the improved shooting from behind the arc at home where the Cowboys shoot 39%, compared to the season average of 34%.
One constant whether the group plays at home or away is the efficient scoring inside the perimeter. Wyoming ranks eighth in the nation in two-point percentage, hitting 57% on the season.
Wyoming has a dominant 1-2 punch in Ike Graham and Hunter Maldonada who each average over 19 points per game. Graham is a 6-foot-9 forward that’s dominant inside. He snatches just under 10 rebounds per game and shoots 53% from the floor. Maldonada is equally as efficient, hitting 51% from the field.
Air Force vs. Wyoming Betting Pick
This is a tough time for Air Force to match up against Wyoming. We should see a fired-up Cowboys squad that will want to avenge its loss last time out. To make matters worse for Air Force, this matchup will be played at Arena-Auditorium.
Wyoming has dominated much of the season and has been perfect in its 11 games at home this season. The Cowboys have covered in 63% of their games at home this season and are poised to continue that trend in this matchup.
The Cowboys' strength is scoring inside the paint where the group converts at a top-10 rate in the nation. Now they match up against an Air Force interior defense that ranks outside the top 300 in two-point field goal percentage.
Air Force’s offense is reliant on scoring from the outside. The Falcons take 45% of their shot attempts and score 38% of their points from beyond the arc. Wyoming’s defense is specifically strong at guarding the three-point line, holding its opponents to 29% on the season – a top-10 rate.
Wyoming is set to get back to its winning ways and secure its spot atop the Mountain West conference.