Utah State vs Air Force Odds, Picks & Predictions | Friday Night Betting Guide

Utah State vs Air Force Odds, Picks & Predictions | Friday Night Betting Guide article feature image

Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Air Force flags.

Utah State vs Air Force Odds

Friday, September 15
8 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Utah State Odds
-110o / -110u
Air Force Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

We're back for another Friday Night Lights matchup.

This week features the Utah State Aggies traveling to Falcon Stadium to battle an undefeated Air Force team.

This matchup features a fun contrast in styles between a Utah State offense that wants to push the pace (20th nationally in seconds per play) and an Air Force triple option that will look to dominate possession (132nd nationally in seconds per play).

To determine which style will prevail, let's look at the odds and make a prediction for the Air Force Falcons vs. the Utah State Aggies on Friday, Sept. 15.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Utah State Aggies

Blake Anderson enters his third season at the helm for the Aggies with question marks on both sides of the ball. Utah State ranks 123rd nationally in net TARP with only four returning starters on offense and five on defense.

This lack of returning production is particularly concerning for a defense that allowed 31.2 points per game in 2022 and is ranked 87th nationally in Defensive Success Rate through this season's first few weeks.

Offensively, the Aggies are led by junior quarterback Cooper Legas, who returns after a 2022 season where he posted a 53.9 average QBR.

Legas will try to improve his numbers despite losing his top two skill-position weapons in running back Calvin Tyler and wide receiver Brian Cobbs. That running back-wide receiver duo amassed 2,045 yards of total offense alongside 12 touchdowns.

Unfortunately for Utah State, they'll have to improve quickly, as they match up against an Air Force defense that returns eight starters.

Their experienced personnel is primarily why the Falcons rank 10th nationally in Success Rate Allowed. The Falcons held Sam Houston State and Robert Morris to only seven combined points.

Air Force’s defense ranks second nationally in Passing Down Success Rate allowed, which will be critical against a Utah State offense that ranks 31st nationally in passing play rate.

Look for Air Force to utilize its experience on the defensive side, making life difficult for Legas and a Utah State offense that wants to find consistent success through the air.

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Air Force Falcons

It's no secret that Air Force team wants to establish the run with its triple-option attack.

Head coach Troy Calhoun has to like his team's chances, given that Air Force will run behind an offensive line that boasts six returning players with starting experience.

Air Force has the highest rushing play rate in the country with the 40th-highest Rush Success Rate.

That's big, given Utah State’s defense has been weakest against the rush, ranking 66th nationally in Rush Success Rate allowed. The Aggies also rank 66th nationally in tackling, and they'll have to tackle better if they hope to prevent the Falcons from creating explosive plays on the ground.

Although Air Force will lean heavily on its rushing attack, the Falcons surprisingly have the highest passing explosiveness in the country (3.28). They make teams pay for selling out against the run.

I expect Air Force’s triple option ground attack to produce against a Utah State defense with significant turnover and a history of inconsistency. Also, don't be shocked if the ground attack sets up deep shots through the air.

Utah State vs Air Force

Matchup Analysis

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

Utah State Offense vs. Air Force Defense
Rush Success860
Line Yards739
Pass Success8913
Finishing Drives4819
Quality Drives4710
Air Force Offense vs. Utah State Defense
Rush Success3966
Line Yards3116
Pass Success10849
Finishing Drives34122
Quality Drives5765
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling661
PFF Coverage1411
Special Teams SP+235
Middle 89814
Seconds per Play23.1 (15)34.1 (132)
Rush Rate46.1% (104)95.0% (1)

Utah State vs Air Force

Betting Pick & Prediction

It's not always sharp to back a service academy favored by over a touchdown, but I think it's the smart play here.

Air Force will gash this inexperienced Utah State defense on the ground early and often behind one of the most talented offensive lines that Calhoun has had in his tenure.

On the other side of the ball, I love the Air Force defense. The Falcons limited production in their first two matchups with inferior opponents, and I believe this success will translate against a Utah State offense looking to replace a significant amount of production.

Pick: Air Force -9.5 (Play to -11)
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