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Air Force vs. Colorado State College Football Odds & Picks: Can Rams Pull the Upset On the Road?

Air Force vs. Colorado State College Football Odds & Picks: Can Rams Pull the Upset On the Road? article feature image

Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images. Pictured: Haaziq Daniels.

  • Two teams trending in the wrong direction square off in a Mountain West duel on Saturday evening.
  • Air Force and Colorado State sit third and fourth, respectively, in their Mountain West division.
  • Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.

Air Force vs. Colorado State Odds

Saturday, Nov. 13
7 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Air Force Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Colorado State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Air Force’s hopes at competing for a Mountain West title are on the line Saturday when the Falcons make the trip to Colorado State.

Air Force opened the season 6-1 but has suffered back-to-back one-possession losses. Last week, the Falcons were defeated in a hard-fought overtime loss to Army, 21-14.

The Falcons currently sit in second place in the Mountain West Mountain Division and must win this week to keep their conference championship hopes alive.

Colorado State gave the Bronze Boot back to Wyoming after losing, 31-17, last week. The Rams were outgained by 120 total yards in the game while allowing the Cowboys to rush for almost 400 yards in the game.

CSU lost its top three linebackers in that game and will have some issues preparing for the triple option.

Colorado State will need to have short-term memory and bounce back quickly as it welcomes another run-heavy team in Air Force.

Air Force Falcons

Expect Falcons to Get Back to Triple Option

Air Force was unable to complete the rally against Army last week as it lost in overtime. An untraditional Air Force offense in that game threw the ball 23 times and averaged 9.8 yards per attempt.

We should see the Falcons go back to its bread-and-butter triple-option attack in this game, especially with the injuries in Colorado State’s front seven.

Air Force ranks third in rush rate by running the ball on 87% of its plays while averaging 4.9 yards per carry. It owns the 11th-best Rush Success Rate and should pound the rock early and often.

Quarterback Haaziq Daniels and running back Brad Roberts make up the two-headed monster for the Air Force rushing attack. The duo has combined for 59% of the team’s carries and averaged 4.7 yards per carry while punching in 17 touchdowns.

Air Force Boasts Dominant Run Defense

Defensively, the Falcons have been dominant against the run where they own the sixth-ranked defense in Rush Success Rate. The group ranks 11th in the nation in tackling, per PFF, and has accounted for 45.5 tackles for loss this season.

Against FBS opponents, the pass defense has allowed 6.9 yards per pass attempt, which ranks 39th in the country. It’s a top-10 unit that has allowed fewer than 180 passing yards per game.

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Colorado State Rams

Colorado State’s Injuries Have Become Alarming

Colorado State has dropped three Mountain West contests in a row to Utah State, Boise State, and Wyoming. If Steve Addazio’s squad wants to have any hope of making it to bowl season, this is a must-win game.

The Rams have thrived on the defensive side of the ball by allowing just 22 points per game this season.

Any time a team matches up against Air Force, the most important factor is the ability to stop the run, and Colorado State has proven capable of doing that. The unit ranks 11th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and has held FBS opponents to 3.2 yards per carry.

But the health of the linebacker position is a massive storyline heading into this game. Colorado State limped through the Wyoming game with injuries to linebackers Dequan Jackson, Bam Amina, and Sanjay Strickland.

Those injuries proved pivotal last game when Wyoming rushed for 385 yards. In the last three contests, opponents have rushed the ball an average of 51 times against this defense.

Who to Watch on the Rams Offense

Redshirt senior quarterback Todd Centeio has been the heartbeat of this offense, throwing for 10 touchdowns while averaging 7.2 yards per attempt. He’s proven to be a threat with his legs by averaging 42 rushing yards per game.

David Bailey is the workhorse running back for the Rams but has only averaged 3.9 yards per carry on 156 attempts this season.

Air Force vs. Colorado State Matchup Analysis

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

Air Force Offense vs. Colorado State Defense
Rush Success 13 11
Line Yards 49 30
Pass Success 113 3
Pass Blocking** 89 12
Big Play 113 24
Havoc 9 59
Finishing Drives 42 41
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Colorado State Offense vs. Air Force Defense
Rush Success 110 6
Line Yards 81 43
Pass Success 61 37
Pass Blocking** 94 25
Big Play 76 12
Havoc 15 38
Finishing Drives 115 39
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 11 21
Coverage 32 36
Middle 8 85 92
SP+ Special Teams 101 47
Plays per Minute 123 13
Rush Rate 86.6% (3) 56.9% (51)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

Air Force vs. Colorado State Betting Pick

Linebackers are the most important position when game-planning against the Air Force triple option. The Rams are down their top three linebackers and have begun moving players from other positions to fill the void.

Those replacement players allowed 385 rushing yards against Wyoming last week, and one week is not enough to throw someone into the fire and have the discipline required to slow down the Falcons.

Addazio, who is in his second year with Colorado State, has yet to face Air Force after last year’s game was canceled.

Colorado State’s offense is going to struggle to move the ball against an Air Force defense that ranks sixth in the nation in Rushing Success Rate. The Rams also won’t find many explosive plays against a Falcons defense that ranks 12th in defending the big play.

Air Force will dominate time of possession in this matchup and keep the Rams defense on the field for the majority of the game. The Falcons will dictate the tempo behind their slow-paced triple-option attack against a banged-up Colorado State front seven.

Pick: Air Force -2.5 (Play to -3)

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