Boise State at Air Force Betting Odds & Picks: Value Remains on Falcons at Home
Loren Orr/Getty Images. Pictured: Boise State Broncos football team.
- Boise State will make its way to the Centennial State on Saturday to take on Air Force in a Mountain West matchup.
- The Falcons have a lot more experience this season, but will it have an impact on how the Broncos perform?
- Check out Mike Calabrese's full betting analysis with updated odds below.
Boise State at Air Force Odds
|Boise State Odds||-14.5 [BET NOW]|
|Air Force Odds||+14.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-835/+500 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||49 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 6 p.m. ET|
Boise State plays all of its Mountain West Conference games with a target on its chest. After all, since joining the conference in 2011, the Broncos have won four conference titles and appeared in the last three MWC title games.
But for every conference blueblood, there’s always an upstart that seems to give them trouble on an annual basis. For Boise, that’s the Air Force Academy.
The two schools have split their past six meetings, and Air Force has covered in four of those six games. The home-away splits are slanted in favor of the Falcons, as well. The last three Boise State trips to Colorado Springs have ended with a pair of straight-up upsets for AFA and three straight covers.
Will Boise buck recent history in this series and finally bury the Falcons on the road, or will the Air Force control the game on the ground and give the MWC’s bully a 60-minute fight?
Boise State Broncos
Boise State has a 45% chance of winning the MWC and a 12.5% chance of running the table, according to ESPN’s FPI metric.
The Broncos have a rising star at quarterback, a future NFL draft pick at wide receiver, and a workhorse back to build around — they’re without a doubt stacked on the offensive side of the ball, and they showed it against an overmatched Utah State defense last week (450 yards and 42 points).
This week they’ll be facing off against the Falcons and defensive coordinator John Rudzinski. Under Rudzinski, AFA’s defense improved dramatically from 2018 to 2019, slashing its points per game from 25.8 to 19.8 and its yards per game from 360.9 to 319.6 while increasing takeaways.
Last week, despite an awful performance from the Air Force offense, the Falcons’ defense held San Jose State to 17 points on just 294 total yards.
Boise State will move the ball through the air and score points, but this doesn’t set up as a track meet, which is what I would need to feel comfortable laying two touchdowns to a service academy program.
Because of Boise’s historic success, gamblers have had to pay a premium to back the Broncos on the road and that hasn’t been a profitable strategy. Since 2018, they’re 4-6-1 as a road favorite, including their loss by the hook against Air Force on the road two seasons ago.
Air Force Falcons
Losing quarterback Donald Hammond III this offseason was a major blow to an Air Force team on the rise. The former standout is now in the NCAA transfer portal following a 2019 campaign in which he accounted for 26 total touchdowns.
Through two games, Haaziq Daniels has proven to be a serviceable replacement, but the offense looked shaky last week against San Jose State.
Diving deeper into that game in San Jose, Air Force turned the ball over inside SJSU’s 40-yard line, was stopped at the one-yard line three times in a row and missed a field goal in the fourth quarter. The goal-line stand by the Spartans was one of the most surprising outcomes of the weekend.
— San José State Football (@SanJoseStateFB) October 25, 2020
That loss and offensive performance has bumped up this spread, in my opinion, from the 10-12 point range to the key number of 14, which has created value for Falcon-backers. Since 2014, the Air Force Academy is 7-1-1 as a home underdog. This is the highest win percentage for any qualifying (five or more games) home dog over that span.
When you pair their work as a home dog with their coaching continuity, this is a great bounceback spot for a team that has proven it’s not intimidated by Boise State.
Betting Analysis & Pick
It’s hard not to be blinded by Boise’s clear talent advantage in this game, but I believe Air Force has the recipe to keep this thing close. Dating back to last season, the Air Force defense does a great job of limiting big plays, which will lead to fewer drives and a tighter final outcome.
I’ll be playing the Falcon plus the two touchdowns and would play them down to 13.
Pick: Air Force +14