Nevada vs Air Force Odds, Predictions & Picks: College Football Betting Preview (Friday, Sept. 23)

Nevada vs Air Force Odds, Predictions & Picks: College Football Betting Preview (Friday, Sept. 23) article feature image

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Air Force’s DeAndre Hughes.

Nevada vs Air Force Odds

Friday, Sept 23
8 p.m. ET
Nevada Odds
-110o / -110u
Air Force Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The Air Force Falcons are back in Colorado Springs, CO and looking to get back on track after an embarrassing loss to Wyoming last week on the road.

The Falcons lost outright, 17-14, as a 17-point favorite at Wyoming. The Wyoming Cowboys seemed to do everything right, while Air Force couldn't find a rhythm on either side of the ball.

It marked the fourth-straight home win in the series for Wyoming.

Now the Falcons will look to another opponent that has given them issues recently: The Nevada Wolf Pack.

Nevada has previously squared off with Air Force six times, with the Falcons leading the series 4-2. And while the Falcons have won three of the last four meetings, neither team has won by more than seven points during that time.

Last year's matchup saw the game go into triple overtime before Air Force pulled off a 41-39 win.

However, this is a Wolf Pack team that is very different from those of recent years. With a new head coach and ranking of 127th in return production, most of the Wolf Pack will have their first experience with the Air Force triple option on Friday night.

Coming off of two straight losses and listed as a 23.5-point underdog against the Falcons, do the Wolf Pack stand a chance?

Nevada Wolf Pack

Nevada came out of the gate hot, winning its first two games by impressive margins. However, those wins came against two of the worst teams in college football: New Mexico State and Texas State.

Things have taken a severe turn since dropping a game to FCS-opponent Incarnate Word, as the Wolf Pack lost a seven-hour shutout to Iowa last week, 27-0.

The Wolf Pack offense ranks amongst the 25-worst in the nation, posting just 290 yards per game. They are also the 16th-worst passing offense, averaging just 151 yards per game.

Defensively, there are some bright spots, most notably their fifth-place ranking in turnover margin at +8. Creating turnovers may be one of the few opportunities for this Wolf Pack team to score.

Turnovers have been an issue for the Falcons, whose turnover margin currently sits at 0.33. Air Force surrendered five fumbles in its first two games. However, it did avoid turnovers while not registering a single penalty against Wyoming.

Air Force Falcons

Just how bad was the loss to Wyoming? Well, it was just the second game in Brad Roberts' three-year career where he did not surpass 60 rush yards. The Cowboys came in with a plan, and they executed it perfectly.

Can the Wolf Pack try to duplicate that plan? Sure. Do I think they will have the same success? Absolutely not.

Air Force ranks 12th nationally after last week when it comes to run success, and will be matched up with a Wolf Pack team that comes in at 89th in defensive rush success.

Air Force has had issues with Finishing Drives and comes in roughly evenly matched against Nevada, but I think the Falcons will have the upper hand when you consider some of the teams the Wolf Pack have played.

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Nevada vs Air Force Matchup Analysis

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

Nevada Offense vs. Air Force Defense
Rush Success9318
Line Yards10276
Pass Success110130
Pass Blocking**107106
Finishing Drives9473
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Air Force Offense vs. Nevada Defense
Rush Success1293
Line Yards18106
Pass Success9476
Pass Blocking**87119
Finishing Drives7778
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling107109
PFF Coverage36106
SP+ Special Teams2353
Seconds per Play25.8 (54)31.3 (127)
Rush Rate60.4% (28)87.3% (1)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Nevada vs Air Force Pick

Last week was a wrinkle in the 2022 season for the Falcons. I overlooked it then and learned my lesson the hard way. No one has more experience with Troy Calhoun or the Falcons than Wyoming.

And it showed.

Nevada does not have that same familiarity. First-year head coach Ken Wilson was still at Nevada in 2012 for its first-ever matchup with Air Force, but I don't see that becoming a factor.

More importantly, Air Force is better than the Wolf Pack in almost every game aspect.

Our Action Network projections make Air Force a 24.9-point favorite, so I don't think there's much value there — not to mention I'm hesitant to back the Falcons as this big of a favorite after last week.

Because of that, I'm taking the over at 48 or better. I bet this total at 48.5, which has since dropped to 45. It has garnered a considerable amount of steam on the under — getting 72% of bets and 93% of the money as of this writing.

I can understand why given both teams rank outside the top 50 in pace of play, and inside the top 30 in rush rate, but I think we see Air Force return to the output it was able to produce in the first two weeks.

The Falcons have always played considerably better at home under Calhoun. Now facing a team they outmatch on both sides of the ball — not to mention wanting to make a statement after last week's loss — I expect the Falcons to bounce back in a big way.

Pick: Over 48 or better

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