Two Mountain West foes do battle on Friday, as the Nevada Wolfpack travel to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Falcons. Both teams suffered losses last weekend, but Air Force’s defeat was much more surprising. They were favored to defeat Wyoming but ended up falling 17-14.
Nevada is on a two-game losing streak, first suffering an upset to Incarnate Word, then getting shut out by Iowa. Will Nevada be able to pull off an upset themselves, or will Air Force win its first conference game?
Find out in our free college football picks and predictions for Nevada vs Air Force on September 23.
Nevada vs Air Force best odds
Nevada vs Air Force picks and predictions
Last weekend was rough for both Air Force and Nevada. The Falcons opened up their Mountain West schedule against the Wyoming Cowboys and were favored by 16.5 points. Wyoming grounded Air Force, winning outright by a score of 17-14. However, the team was dealing with an illness that swept through the locker room.
At least three dozen players missed at least a day’s worth of practice, and some didn’t make it on the field. Most notably was backup quarterback Zach Larrier, who is also used as a running back in the triple-option offense because of his speed. His absence was definitely felt in the Wyoming loss. Still, Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun said there were no excuses for the loss, which put them at 0-1 in the Mountain West Conference.
Nevada might be the prescription to make the Falcons feel a whole lot better, as the Wolfpack are simply a bad football team. They were a 4-point favorite to Incarnate Word in Week 2 and were trounced, 55-41. They followed up that embarrassing loss with another stinker, getting shut out by Iowa. Nevada is just 116th in the country in passing, averaging 151.5 yards a game.
Air Force should be able to contain Nevada, as they rank 32nd in total defense. The Falcons are limiting opponents to 303 yards a game, well under what Nevada’s 119th-ranked offense produces at 290 yards. The game will probably be won with Air Force’s potent rushing game. They are first in the country in rushing, averaging a whopping 6.91 yards per carry.
The Wolfpack are 46th in rushing defense, but none of the previous three teams they have faced were in the Top 100 of rushing offense. The Falcons are going to run the ball down Nevada’s throat and score early and often. The spread is 23.5 points at FanDuel and should be grabbed before it gets any bigger.
My best bet: Air Force -23.5 (-115 at FanDuel)
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Nevada vs Air Force betting preview
This game opened at -17.5 in Air Force’s favor and quickly jumped to as high as -24. Considering that Nevada lost 27-0 against Iowa last week, it isn’t a stretch to think they can’t get blown out again.
Last weekend, the Wolfpack lost to Incarnate Word, a private Catholic college based in San Antonio. That loss even came at home, meaning fans had to pay for the privilege of getting embarrassed by an FCS program. Now, Nevada has to try and tackle an Air Force team that has a rushing attack, which is tops in the country.
The Wolfpack failed to cover the spread in their last two games, making them 2-2 ATS. Nevada is just 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record. Meanwhile, Air Force is 4-1 in their last five games following an ATS loss.
Take Air Force to cover. Nevada just won’t be able to stop the run, and this one should get ugly real quick.
Expect a track meet on Friday, but it should only be a one-team race. Air Force should use their devastating rushing offense to move up and down the field almost at will. With Nevada facing a real rushing threat, the Wolfpack won’t be able to answer the triple-option offense and will spend most of the games chasing the Falcons around the field. Because of that, Air Force should be able to pile up the points.
The total for this game opened at 49.5 but has come down to as low as 45.5 at several sportsbooks. In two of their three games, Air Force has scored 40 or more points. The Over is 6-1 in the team’s last seven games and is also 7-3 in their last 10 after scoring less than 20 points in the match beforehand. The Wolfpack did get shut out last week, but I don’t see that happening two weeks in a row. They have scored 23, 38, and 41 points in their previous three games.
The Wolfpack have also hit the Over in six of their last seven times in games they ended up losing outright. They are also 8-3 in their last 11 games following a straight-up loss of more than 20 points. The Over on this game will come mostly from Air Force, but Nevada will chip in as well to make this a non-sweat wager.
Nevada vs Air Force betting trend to know
The Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams. Find more NCAA betting trends for Nevada vs. Air Force.
Nevada vs Air Force game info
• Location: Falcon Stadium, USAF Academy, CO
• Date: Friday, September 23, 2022
• Kick-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX Sports 1
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