Air Force Falcons quarterback Haaziq Daniels hands the ball off to running back Brad Roberts

Oct 22, 2022; Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; Air Force Falcons quarterback Haaziq Daniels (4) hands the ball off to running back Brad Roberts (20) in the fourth quarter against the Boise State Broncos at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

  • Baylor is a 5.5-point favorite in the Baylor vs Air Force odds ahead of Thursday’s Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
  • The Bears dropped their final three games of the regular season, while the Falcons won their final four outings
  • The latest Baylor vs Air Force odds can be found below, along with analysis and predictions

Bowl season continues on Thursday with all eyes focused on the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. It will pit Baylor (6-6) against Air Force (9-3) in the first meeting between the two programs since 1977.

The Bears have won each of the three matchups in school history against the Falcons, and online sportsbooks are expecting that trend to continue in the college football odds.

Baylor vs Air Force Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Baylor Bears -5.5 (-110) -225 O 47.5 (-110)
Air Force Falcons +5.5 (-110) +190 U 47.5 (-110)

Odds as of December 19 at DraftKings. Get the DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to bet on the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl matchup.

Baylor opened up as 6.5-point favorites, but that number didn’t last long. Early Air Force money drove the line down to -5.5, and even at that new number, big bettors are backing the underdog. The Falcons are currently drawing 54% of the ATS handle, off of just 27% of the spread wagers.

Total wise, the game opened at 47. After being bet up to 48.5 last week, it’s come down to 47.5. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm ET at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, with ESPN providing the broadcast coverage. The forecast is calling for 19-degree game-time temperatures, and 16 mph sustained winds.

Baylor vs Air Force Betting Analysis

Air Force does two things exceptionally well. They play excellent defense and they run the ball better than anyone. The Falcons led the country this year in rushing yards per game, averaging 330 yards on the ground on a nation-high 60 carries per contest.

Air Force averaged 5.2 yards per attempt, and feature three players that all produced more than 600 rushing yards. Mountain West Player of the Year Brad Roberts led the way with over 1,600 yards, while QB Haazig Daniels ran for 614 yards. Speaking of Daniels, the Falcons rarely throw the ball, but when they do they are dangerous. They averaged 9.5 yards per pass, the second-highest mark in college football.

Air Force led the country in time of possession, relentlessly wearing down their opponents. They should be able to deploy a similar strategy versus the Bears who yield 142 rushing yards per game on an average of only 36 carries. The Falcons are 9-1 when rushing for at least 200 yards this season, while Baylor is 1-4 when it coughs up 150+ yards on the ground.

On the other side of the ball, Air Force is also number one in the country in scoring defense and yards allowed. They held opponents to just 12.9 points per game and 241 total yards. A big reason for that is because opponents rarely have the ball. Enemy offenses are on the field for only 39% of the game against the Falcons.

Baylor should be able to exceed that number, although offensive sledding will be tough. The Bears average over 30 points per game and also choose a run-heavy strategy. Baylor runs at the nation’s 32nd-highest rate, averaging over 188 yards on the ground per game. Air Force has stymied opposing rushing attacks all season though, allowing only 98 yards on the ground.

That should force the Bears to the air more often than they’d like, which will put a lot of pressure on Blake Shapen. The sophomore QB struggled down the stretch, throwing more picks (5) than touchdowns (3) over his final four starts. He averaged only 195 yards during those outings, as Baylor dropped three straight games to end the season.

Baylor vs Air Force Prediction

The Falcons closed the campaign with four straight victories, and with perceived advantages all over the field, you could argue that this game should be much closer to a pick’em than a touchdown. Getting 5.5 points with Air Force is a steal, and simply too good a price to pass up.

2022 College Football Rushing Leaders

Rank Team Rush Yds/Game
1 Air Force Falcons 330.9
2 Army Black Knights 289.4
3 Ole Miss Rebels 261.6
4 UCLA Bruins 246.3
5 Michigan Wolverines 243.0

The trends support that notion as well. The Falcons have covered in three straight Bowl games, and are 20-10-1 against the spread as underdogs since 2014. Air Force is also 6-3 in its past nine Bowl appearances, and after already clearing their 2022 college football win total, is just one win away from its fifth 10-win season in the last eight years.

Baylor is no stranger to Bowl success with four wins in its last five Bowl Games, but Air Force is a nightmare matchup for them as detailed. If you share a similar opinion, don’t shy away from betting the Falcons straight up. Since 2008, 182 of the 254 underdogs (71.6%) that have covered in Bowl Games have also won the contest outright.

Picks: Air Force Falcons +5.5 (-110), 1 unit, AF Moneyline (+190), 0.5 units


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Chris Amberley

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