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Air Force vs. Boise State Pick – CFB Week 3

Friday night action this week features a pair of Mountain West rivals with the Air Force Falcons (1-1) traveling to Boise, ID to face the Boise St. Broncos (1-1) in prime time (8:00pm ET) on ESPN. Air Force opened their 2013 campaign with a pair of home games: 38-13 victory over Colgate, an FCS team, and a loss in their game last week against Utah St. by a score of 52-20. Boise State opened their season on the road with a surprising 38-6 loss at Washington, but the Broncos rebounded last week with a 63-14 win over FCS Tennessee Martin at home. The two teams are meeting for the second time overall and first since 2011 when the Broncos won 37-26 at home.

Air Force allowed a whopping 577 total yards, including 217 yards on the ground in their loss to Utah State last week. The Falcons averaged only 3.3 YPC with their well-known triple option attack, and posted only 270 yards of total offense. The Falcons rank a mediocre 80th among FBS teams in total offense, but rank 18th in rushing offense with 285.5 YPG on the ground.

Boise State ranks 68th among FBS teams in total offense with 409 YPG, and 50th in rushing offense with 195.5 YPG. Quarterback Joe Southwick (386 yards passing, 5 TDs, 1 INT) is a second year starter and leads what is annually one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. The Broncos have never struggled under Head Coach Chris Petersen as much as they did in their opener over Washington, but a weak Air Force secondary could be just the right prescription for them to get back on track.

Air Force vs. Boise State Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:
Air Force Falcons +23.5
@Boise State Broncos -23.5

Game Total:
Over 57.5 (-110)
Under 57.5 (-110)

Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv

Air Force vs. Boise State Pick

Air Force is 12-10 in conference road games under Coach Troy Calhoun, but has lost two straight (at Fresno State and San Diego State to close out 2012). The Falcons are 4-3 in their last seven MW games. The over is 5-2 in the Falcons last 7 games on fieldturf and6-1 in their last games in September.

The Falcons will have to shore up their pass defense against an experienced QB like Boise State’s Southwick, if they allow him to carve them up like Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton did (360 yards passing, 5 TDs, 80% completion percentage, 9.0 YPA) it will be a long night for the Falcons. Boise State traditionally has a strong run defense, but the Broncos were pounded in their opener at Washington for 268 yards and 5.0 YPC on the ground. BSU ranks 104th in the nation in total defense and Air Force ranks 88th, this should be a relatively high scoring game especially considering that the Broncos have a short week to prepare for an Air Force triple option offense that they have not seen in two years. Boise State ranks 98 in the nation in run defense with 210 YPG allowed, and the Falcons have the offensive philosophy to take advantage of this weakness. With Boise State not having their usual strong defense and Air Force showing last week that they are extremely vulnerable against the pass, the call here is the over on what is a relatively low total for Mountain West game. With the line being so high at +23 points at most establishments, the play here is the over.

PICK= Over 57.5