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College Football Odds, Pick for Air Force vs Boise State: Expect a Close Game?

College Football Odds, Pick for Air Force vs Boise State: Expect a Close Game? article feature image
Credit:

Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Air Force’s Dylan Carson (20).

Air Force vs Boise State Odds

Friday, Nov. 24
4 p.m. ET
FS1
Air Force Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+7
-110
45.5
-110o / -110u
+220
Boise State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-7
-110
45.5
-110o / -110u
-275
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

The Air Force Falcons and Boise State Broncos are used to this game being relevant in the Mountain West Championship picture, and this year is no exception.

As long as UNLV beats San Jose State, the winner of this matchup will go to Vegas for the conference title game.

Since there’s been a lot of discussion on it, here’s the full 2023 tiebreaker scenarios from the Mountain West.

Again I confirmed with the Mountain West that a 3-team tie for spots 1 and 2 is decided by composite rankings for both spots if the teams didn’t all play H2H. pic.twitter.com/cA5ZscQfNP

— B.J. Rains (@BJRains) November 20, 2023

So, which side has the edge on Friday night? Here's my Air Force vs. Boise State prediction and pick.

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Air Force Falcons

Air Force got off to a strong start this season, but the past three weeks have been a crushing dose of reality. The Falcons' prolific rushing attack was completely stonewalled against Army and Hawaii, and the offense scored just three and 13 points in those contests.

The Falcons have been exceptionally efficient this season, ranking 22nd in Success Rate and third in Havoc Allowed.

However, numbers like that are to be expected from service academy teams, given their propensity for running. Speaking of which, Air Force runs the ball on 87% of its offensive plays, the most in the country.

When running the ball, the Falcons are efficient but not explosive, ranking 26th in Rushing Success Rate and 75th in rushing explosiveness. They also take their time and rank 131st in seconds per play.

The Falcons' path to victory is clear — keep the ball on the ground, chew some clock and let the defense rest. Scoring once inside the Broncos' 40-yard line will be key for the Falcons, as they rank 52nd in Points per Opportunity and have been streaky inside the red zone.

On defense, there's a lot to be excited about.

Air Force ranks 36th in Success Rate Allowed and 18th in explosiveness allowed. In particular, its passing defense has been stifling. Despite ranking just 62nd in Passing Success Rate Allowed, Air Force ranks 29th in total Passing PPA Allowed and 11th in passing explosiveness allowed.

The Falcons do an excellent job of keeping the ball in front of them on defense.


Boise State Broncos

The Broncos are obviously not an option-based attack, but they keep the ball on the ground. Boise State ranks 29th in rushing plays rate, and there's a reason the Broncos run the ball a lot — they're very good at it.

They rank seventh in Rushing Success Rate and 14th in total Rushing PPA. They have a similar game plan as Air Force — keep the ball on the ground and burn the clock. The Falcons also aren't the only team in this matchup that likes to take it slow on offense, as the Broncos rank 71st in seconds per play.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos could have some issues. Boise State has a below-average rush defense, which isn't great against a service academy team. BSU sits 72nd in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 68th in rushing explosiveness allowed, which isn't terrible, but it's also not ideal against a team that runs the ball the vast majority of the time.

The Broncos also struggle to defend their territory, ranking 103rd in Points per Opportunity Allowed.

Despite struggling in recent weeks, expect the Falcons to exploit Boise State's shaky red-zone defense. Air Force runs a lot of the same concepts out of a lot of different formations and can confuse teams with motion and strange personnel groupings, especially in the red zone.


Air Force vs Boise State

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Air Force and Boise State match up statistically:

Air Force Offense vs. Boise State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success2775
Line Yards659
Pass Success4381
Havoc2108
Finishing Drives53108
Quality Drives3065
Boise State Offense vs. Air Force Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success727
Line Yards1120
Pass Success7129
Havoc5544
Finishing Drives4487
Quality Drives4323
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling3129
PFF Coverage1098
Special Teams SP+4829
Middle 84911
Seconds per Play31.8 (133)27.1 (70)
Rush Rate88.2% (1)57.6% (31)

Air Force vs Boise State

Betting Pick & Prediction

This should be a fun, hard-fought game with a chance to play in the conference championship on the line. Boise State has won four of the past five matchups between these teams, but that shouldn't dissuade Falcons bettors.

With lots of rushing expected and an over/under in the mid-40s, my initial inclination was to hit the under. However, both defenses are below average in the red zone, and I think these teams will be able to convert their trips into touchdowns.

We have Boise State projected as a four-point favorite, so I'm happy to back the underdog in what should be a close game.

Pick: Air Force +7

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