College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Air Force vs. New Mexico: Betting Guide For Mountain West Duel

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Air Force vs. New Mexico: Betting Guide For Mountain West Duel article feature image
Credit:

Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Terry Wilson.

  • Air Force travels to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico in a Mountain West battle.
  • Both the Falcons and Lobos open up conference play with teams heading in different directions.
  • Our Kyle Remillard breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.

Air Force vs. New Mexico Odds

Air Force Odds -11.5  (-110)
New Mexico Odds +11.5 (-110)
Moneyline -450 / +340
Over/Under 46 (-110 / -110)
Time 6:30 p.m. ET
TV FS2
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The New Mexico Lobos look to get back on track after dropping two in a row when they travel to Falcon Stadium in a matchup with Air Force.

The Lobos opened the season 2-0 by beating Houston Baptist and New Mexico State before coming back to reality. They were crushed by Texas A&M and then fumbled away a halftime lead to UTEP and lost 20-13.

New Mexico is adjusting well in year two of defensive coordinator Rocky Longs’ 3-3-5 defensive scheme, but offensive production has been lacking. The Lobos are averaging just over 15 points per game through four games.

Air Force was one drive away from being undefeated entering this one but fell short to Utah State, 49-45. The Falcons have leaned on a defense that has seen improvement thanks to some returning production that opted out in 2020.

Also, the Air Force triple option is alive and well, averaging over 350 rushing yards per game.

There’s only one direction to look in this matchup that includes two slow-tempo offenses that love to run the ball.


Air Force vs. New Mexico Betting Preview

Saturday, October 2
6:30 p.m. ET
FS2

Air Force Falcons

Air Force Offense

The Air Force offense has been a well-oiled machine through the first month of the season, averaging 34 points per game and looking nearly unstoppable on the ground.

The Falcons have amassed nearly 1,500 rushing yards while averaging 5.5 per carry. They’re putting up 350 yards of offense per game through the ground game alone.

Quarterback Haaziq Daniels is averaging 6.1 yards per carry and has run in seven of Air Force’s 17 rushing touchdowns. In his limited 31 passing attempts, Daniels has averaged 11.3 yards per attempt.

Brad Roberts is the leader among a slew of running backs for the Falcons. He leads the team with 88 carries while averaging 3.5 yards per attempt and 100 yards per contest.

The infamous triple option has been surging through the first four weeks but faces a familiar foe in Long.


Air Force Defense

The Air Force defense has been stout in three of its four games this season, with the loss to Utah State serving as the outlier. The Falcons held Lafayette, Navy and Florida Atlantic to an average of eight points and 191 yards.

The Air Force defense ranks fourth in the nation in defensive Rush Success Rate. They’ve held opponents to an average of 3.8 yards per carry all season while allowing 6.0 yards per pass attempt.

A large contribution to the success this season is the return of key opt-outs from the 2020 season. Among them is linebacker Demonte Meeks, who led the team in tackles in 2019. He has picked up right where he left off with 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks so far this season.

The Air Force defense has totaled 24.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks through four games. The Falcons’ rush defense is primed to contain a complacent New Mexico offense.


New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico Offense

New Mexico runs a slow-paced offense that has not had much success this season, averaging just 16 points per game. Although the Lobos run the ball on 55% of their offensive snaps, they average just 3.0 yards per carry, which ranks outside the top 100.

Terry Wilson, who started 25 games for Kentucky, is the Lobos’ starting quarterback this season. The level of competition has ramped up in recent weeks and his level of play has diminished.

In Wilson’s first two games of the season, he threw for six touchdowns and averaged 8.6 yards per pass attempt. In his last two, those numbers are down significantly — he averaged a measly 3.2 yards per pass attempt with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Lobos rank outside the top 100 in Explosive Plays, creating Havoc and Finishing Drives, which is why this offense averages just over two touchdowns a game.


New Mexico Defense

Long was brought into New Mexico to implement his 3-3-5 defensive scheme. He’s in year two of that endeavor and the trial is beginning to pay dividends. The Lobos rank 27th in defensive Havoc created through the unorthodox defensive structure.

New Mexico has been strong in defensive pass rush, ranking 14th in the country in that thanks to the various blitz packages Long utilizes. The defense has accounted for 10 sacks and 25 tackles for loss through four games.

The Lobos have already faced run-heavy teams who have averaged over 30 carries per game. New Mexico has held those opponents to only 3.5 yards per carry and just over 100 rushing yards per game.

Although the pass defense has been strong, the unit won’t get much work in this game against the Air Force triple option.

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Air Force vs. New Mexico Matchup Analysis

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

Air Force Offense vs. New Mexico Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 107 66
Line Yards 107 44
Pass Success 88 31
Pass Blocking** 104 14
Big Play 102 50
Havoc 25 27
Finishing Drives 64 77
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

New Mexico Offense vs. Air Force Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 51 4
Line Yards 92 27
Pass Success 116 72
Pass Blocking** 20 18
Big Play 117 83
Havoc 116 54
Finishing Drives 123 123
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 4 58
PFF Coverage 48 29
Middle 8 4 73
SP+ Special Teams 107 87
Plays per Minute 116 95
Rush Rate 89.1% (2) 55.3% (64)

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


Air Force vs. New Mexico Betting Pick

Long has been coaching in the Mountain West for over 20 years and is well familiar with the Air Force triple option. His 3-3-5 scheme includes unconventional blitz packages that will make life difficult for the Flacons.

New Mexico’s offense continues to be a run-heavy unit, regardless of the fact that it hasn’t had much success on the ground. That trend will continue in this matchup against an Air Force defense ranks fourth in the country in Success Rate.

Both teams want to run the ball and play at a slow tempo. Air Force ranks 116th and New Mexico ranks 95th in plays per minute. The game clock will rarely stop as these two teams run the ball a combined 68% of their offensive plays.

There will be long, slow drives that rarely result in touchdowns in this matchup. This game has the potential to be the lowest-scoring game of the week, which is why I’m looking at the under.

Pick: Under 46.5 (Play to 45)

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