Betting Air Force-UNLV: Rebels Have Rebounded from Loss of Star Quarterback
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: UNLV WR Kendal Keys
Air Force at UNLV Betting Pick, Odds
- Spread: UNLV +10
- Over/Under: 57
- Time: Friday, 10 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS Sports Network
This pick comes from Collin Wilson’s “CW9,” where he shares his nine favorite college football bets of the week. Get his eight other games here (EDGE subscription required).
If you were one of the few people who had UNLV moneyline last year against Air Force … I’m very sorry. I hope you’re over it.
The Runnin’ Rebels covered as 8-point underdogs, but led 30-7 midway through the third quarter before blowing the lead and losing 34-30.
Air Force ran 86 plays, about 11 more than its season average, and buried UNLV with three drives of 10-plus plays in the final 18 minutes of the game. The Rebels were gassed.
Will things be different this year? Let’s dive in.
Air Force is a solid 4-1-1 against the spread this season. But has it actually outperformed expectations?
Per Football Study Hall, the Falcons’ adjusted scoring margin in three of those games was at least -20 points. They lost by a combined 19 points, when it should have been more like 70 total based on each team’s true performance.
Air Force is averaging 3.95 yards per carry, which is tied for 93rd among FBS teams. The Falcons haven’t averaged fewer than 4.3 ypc since 2006, and rarely do they rank outside the top 50.
That has led to the Falcons ranking 110th in success rate (how often you’re on schedule to pick up a first down) and 103rd in rushing efficiency. The triple option will always work in some capacity, but Air Force hasn’t been great with it this season.
While UNLV’s defense has struggled as a whole this year — it ranks 109th in yards per play allowed — the pass defense has been better than the run defense, which doesn’t bode particularly well for the Rebels against Air Force’s triple option. They rank 55th in passing efficiency on defense and 108th in rushing. UNLV is sacking opponents on 7.5% of dropbacks, No. 39 in the country.
Bet to Watch for UNLV-Air Force
UNLV was +14 in this game on Sunday night, which is higher than The Action Network power ratings number of +10. After digging deeply into the Utah State game, UNLV has become a balanced offensive attack, led by quarterback Max Gilliam.
Replacing Armani Rogers, Gilliam went for 250 yards and three touchdowns through the air. If it were not for a Utah State blocked punt return for a touchdown, the Rebels would have covered.
Last week’s game against Utah State served as a measuring stick of UNLV’s new power rating. While I have this game at UNLV +10, S&P+ has it at a pick’em.
Air Force certainly is not an offensive juggernaut, ranking 117th in S&P+. Defensively, the Falcons aren’t much better in passing explosiveness and sack rate.
This is far too many points against a UNLV team that has rebounded from the loss of its star quarterback.
Play On: UNLV +10