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Air Force at Boise State: What bettors need to know

Air Force Falcons at Boise State Broncos (-23.5, 57)

Boise State's dalliance with the Top 25 may have been brief, but the Broncos showed last week that they're eager to return. Fresh off a 49-point drubbing of Tennessee-Martin, head coach Chris Petersen's club looks to continue its march toward a Mountain West Conference title as it entertains the Air Force Falcons on Friday night. Air Force had to do without starting quarterback Kale Pearson last time out, and it showed as the Falcons were thumped 52-20 by Utah State.

Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun has already made peace with the fact that Peterson, who suffered a knee in the season-opening 38-13 victory over Colgate, likely won't return against the Broncos. That should spell concern for a Falcons squad that struggled to fashion any sort of aerial attack against the Aggies last weekend. Boise State had no such trouble against Tennessee-Martin, as quarterback Joe Southwick racked up 234 passing yards and five touchdowns.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

LINE: Boise State has been a steady 23.5-point favorite throughout the week. The total has dropped slightly from 57.5 to 57.

WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid-80s with partly cloudy skies and winds blowing S as high as 11 mph.

ABOUT AIR FORCE (1-1, 0-2 ATS):
Calhoun was succinct when explaining his team's loss, which was punctuated by a stretch in which Utah State scored on four straight series to effectively put the game away. "I think we got thumped in every possible way in this game," Calhoun told the Air Force News Service. "In the first half, we had a chance to make some plays that we didn't make." The Falcons boast a potent running game that has averaged better than 285 yards per game - good for 18th in the nation - and should excel in the triple-option offense against a Boise State team that has struggled with run defense.

ABOUT BOISE STATE (1-1, 1-1 ATS): Last weekend's win was critical in helping restore the confidence of a Broncos team that plummeted out of the rankings following a 38-6 loss to the Washington Huskies in the season opener - the program's worst defeat since 2005. The Boise State defense still surrendered 362 total yards to Tennessee-Martin and has allowed an average of 210 rushing yards through the first two games - and Petersen blames tackling troubles. "You create space, you're going to miss tackles. We have to get more guys to the point of attack. One guy is not going to make the tackle in space."

TRENDS:

* Air Force is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games.
* The over is 6-1 in the Falcons' last seven September games.
* Boise State is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 conference games.
* The under is 5-2 in the Broncos' last seven games following a SU win of more than 20 points.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. The Broncos are 80-4 at home since 2000.

2. Air Force is 12-10 in Mountain West road games under Calhoun.

3. Boise State prevailed 37-26 in the only previous meeting between the teams back in 2011.

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