Air Force vs. Boise State Betting Odds & Pick: Does Key Mismatch Give Falcons Edge Over Broncos?
Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kadin Remsberg
Boise State dug deep twice early this season to stay a perfect 3-0, and now faces a disciplined Air Force team on Friday night (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium. The Falcons are an impressive 2-0 so far with an upset of Colorado as a short underdog. As always, the triple-option rushing attack has been mighty impressive and quarterback Darrell Hammond III has made some plays in the passing game.
Here’s how we’re betting Air Force vs. Boise State, with key storylines, our projected odds and more.
Air Force vs. Boise State Odds
Spread: Boise State -7
Wilson’s Model Prediction for Air Force vs. Boise State
Collin Wilson uses an oddsmaker-style approach to creating his own power ratings that can set a point spread between any two teams on a neutral field.
Spread: Boise State -7.8
One Key for Air Force
Coming into the season, both teams were projected to have strong offensive lines. For Air Force, that has played out and the Falcons have had one of the best units in all of college football in this young season.
They’ve only played two games but haven’t allowed a sack and rank No. 2 in Line Yards (behind Georgia), per Football Outsiders, and also rank in the top 5 nationally in tackles for loss allowed.
That’s pretty impressive for an option-attack offense that has run the ball on average 58.5 times per game — second in the nation only behind Navy.
One Key for Boise State
Despite getting off to a perfect 3-0 start, Boise’s offensive line has really struggled. Coming into the season, Boise was one of only three teams in the country returning all five starters along the offensive line. However, injuries have spoiled those plans.
The Broncos lost both tackles in John Ojukwu and Ezra Cleveland (who will likely play in the NFL) to injury, which has caused two freshmen to enter the fold and others to play out of position.
Predictably, the OL has struggled. In fact, QB Hank Bachmeier had been hit more than any other QB in the nation headed into last week. And even against FCS Portland State, they allowed pressure throughout.
Historically, service academies have been profitable as underdogs. All three run the triple-option, which limits possessions and keeps the clock moving advantage underdogs.
Since 2005, Army, Navy and Air Force are 139-117-6 (54%) ATS. Under Troy Calhoun, Air Force is 38-31-1 ATS as a dog. — John Ewing
How We’re Betting Air Force vs. Boise State
Get Stuckey’s insights and picks on Air Force vs. Boise State for FREE by downloading The Action Network app.
Air Force is the real deal and a serious contender in the Mountain West. With a less than 100% healthy Boise State offensive line, I expect Air Force to win in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
This is an Air Force team that ranks in the top 25 against the run and also boasts its best secondary (usually a glaring weakness) in quite some time, while Boise could be without starting safety DeAndre Pierce, who would be sorely missed in defending the option.
It wouldn’t shock me to see it pull off the outright upset but I’ll gladly take anything over a touchdown. Trust the Air Force offensive line leading the way for the option attack that is averaging 6.1 yards per carry (13th) against a Boise run defense that has looked fairly average so far.
And don’t sleep on the throwing ability of QB Darrell Hammond III, who has connected on a few deep balls in the limited shots he has taken this year. — Stuckey
Pick: Air Force +7