2023 Armed Forces Bowl Betting Odds, Predictions, Preview

The Armed Forces Bowl wrapped up on Saturday, December 23, 2023 and bettors saw Air Force knock off James Madison, 31-21 as 2.5-point favorites.

Recap all the 2023 Armed Forces Bowl Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions and History below and be sure to check back for the 2024 installment.

Armed Forces Bowl Betting Odds


  • Opening point spread: Pick 'em
  • Opening moneyline: James Madison -160/Air Force +135
  • Opening total: Over/Under 43 points scored
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 23 (ABC)

UPDATE NOON ET SATURDAY, DEC. 23: This line has seen significant movement of late at BetMGM, most of it this morning. On Wednesday, James Madison slid from -2.5 to -1.5. The Dukes then moved to -1 this morning, but rebounded to -2.5.

However, that's since been followed by a line flip to Air Force -1.5, and the Falcons are now -2. Back on Dec. 4, the Armed Forces Bowl opened at James Madison -4.5. and quickly fell to JMU -3.

It's two-way spread play, with 57% of tickets on the Dukes and 51% of money on the Falcons. On the moneyline, it's 76% of tickets/80% of money on Air Force.

The total opened at 42.5, bottomed out at 40.5 a couple of times over the past three weeks and made its way back to 42.5 by today. The Over is drawing 77% of tickets/80% of money.

UPDATE 3 P.M. ET WEDNESDAY, DEC. 20: Although several James Madison starters are in the transfer portal, apparently most if not all will play in the Armed Forces Bowl. That includes quarterback Jordan McCloud.

James Madison opened -3 in DraftKings' college football bowl odds market, on Dec. 4. The line dipped to Dukes -2.5 Dec. 11, then today went to -2/-1.5, before rebounding to -2. Spread ticket count is 3/1 James Madison, but spread money is dead even.

The total dropped from 43 on Dec. 4 to 41 on Dec. 5, and it's mostly stuck at 41 since. But this afternoon brought another downward move to 40.5. The Over is drawing 68% of tickets, while 62% of cash is on the Under.

UPDATE 11 P.M. ET THURSDAY, DEC. 7: James Madison (11-1 SU/8-4 ATS) is only in a bowl game because not enough other teams posted a qualifying six-win season to fill out all the matchups. But the Dukes absolutely deserve to be here, and probably in a better game than the Armed Forces Bowl.

James Madison last played in Week 13, bouncing back nicely from an upset Week 12 overtime loss to Appalachian State. The Dukes steamrolled Coastal Carolina 56-14 as 4-point road favorites.

But because James Madison is in the second year of its transition to FBS, it wasn't allowed to compete for the Sun Belt Conference title. The Dukes won't have coach Curt Cignetti, who left to become Indiana's new coach.

Air Force was having a phenomenal season through October, sitting at 8-0 SU (5-3 ATS) and ranked in the Top 25. But the Falcons fell apart, losing their last four SU and ATS to finish 8-4 SU/5-7 ATS. In the regular-season finale at Boise State, Air Force lost 27-19 as a 6.5-point pup.

Caesars Sports opened JMU-Air Force at pick 'em on Dec. 4 and almost immediately shot all the way to James Madison -3.5. The line settled at -3 a few minutes later. The total was on the move early, too, dropping from 43 to 41 within two hours.

Click here for Vegas Insider senior reporter Patrick Everson's full College Football Bowl Odds: Spreads, Lines, Trends for Every Bowl Game.

Check out the latest NFL odds for this upcoming week of NFL action.

Armed Forces Bowl Pick, Prediction

Action Network college football betting expert Collin Wilson offers this prediction:

In a regular-season game, this would have been a showcase for the Group of Five. Instead, nearly every defensive contributor for James Madison has entered the transfer portal.

Head coach Curt Cignetti has moved on to Indiana, leaving offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski to James Madison in their first-ever bowl appearance.

The Dukes will face Air Force's ground attack, but James Madison has no experience against the fullback dive or triple option.

Quarterback Jordan McCloud is in the portal and expected to play for the Dukes, but that's subject to change, as each of the players has a open recruitment.

Make no mistake — the star of the James Madison team is the rush defense and several of those players do not have intentions of playing the bowl.

Quarterback Zac Larrier could be healthy enough to play this game in Amon G. Carter, the site of Air Force's dominant bowl victory over Baylor last year.

Pick: Air Force +2.5

For more college football picks, check out Action Network's College Football Bowl Confidence Pool Rankings: Collin Wilson’s Picks for All 2023 Bowl Games.

Armed Forces Bowl Betting Resources

  • Date: Saturday, December 23, 2023
  • TV-Time: ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Amon G. Carter Stadium
  • Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Armed Forces Bowl History

The Armed Forces Bowl bowl began in 2003 and is played at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. A variety of conferences have owned tie-ins to this bowl since its inception, as schools from the American Athletic ConferenceBig Ten ConferenceBig 12 Conference, and Mountain West Conference have signed agreements to play in this game. 

This bowl was formerly named the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl, the Fort Worth Bowl, and the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. 

In five of the first six years of this bowl, the favorite won and covered. The underdogs did strike back with a 7-3 ATS run but the 'chalk' bounced back in 2019 as Tulane stifled Southern Mississippi 30-13 as a seven-point favorite. 

The Mississippi State Bulldogs of the SEC restored order for the favorites, picking up a 28-26 win over Tulsa of the AAC as the Over comfortably connected. The Over is now 6-1 across the past seven installments of this bowl game. 

The 2021 installment was an entertaining affair, as Army picked up a 41-yard field goal at the buzzer to top Missouri 24-22 in a seesaw affair.

Air Force won each of the last two Armed Forces Bowls by beating Baylor in 2022, followed by a 31-21 victory over James Madison in 2023.

Armed Forces Bowl Betting Results

YearMatchupLine, TotalATS Result
2023Air Force 31 James Madison 21Air Force -2.5, 44.5Favorite, Over
2022Air Force 30 Baylor 15Baylor -3, 42Underdog, Over
2021Army 24 Missouri 22Army -7, 54Underdog, Under
2020Mississippi State 28 Tulsa 26Mississippi State -1, 44.5Favorite, Over
2019Tulane 30 Southern Mississippi 13Tulane -7, 57.5Favorite, Under
2018Army 70 Houston 14Army -6.5, 56.5Favorite, Over
2017Army 42 San Diego State 35 San Diego State -7, 46.5Underdog, Over
2016Louisiana Tech 48 Navy 45Louisiana Tech -7.5, 68Underdog, Over
2015California 55 Air Force 36California -5.5, 71.5Favorite, Over
2014Houston 35 Pittsburgh 34Pittsburgh -5.5, 54Underdog, Over
2013Navy 24 Middle Tennessee 6Navy -6.5, 57Favorite, Under
2012Rice 33 Air Force 14Air Force -1, 60.5Underdog, Under
2011BYU 24 Tulsa 21Tulsa -2.5, 59.5Underdog, Under
2010Army 16 SMU 14SMU -7, 50.5Underdog, Under
2009Air Force 47 Houston 20Houston -4.5, 65Underdog, Over
2008Houston 34 Air Force 28Houston -5.5, 65Favorite, Under
2007California 42 Air Force 36California -4.5, 57Favorite, Over
2006Utah 25 Tulsa 13Utah -2.5, 48.5Favorite, Under
2005Kansas 42 Houston 13Kansas -4, 49.5Favorite, Over
2004Cincinnati 32 Marshall 14Cincinnati -1, 53Favorite, Under
2003Boise State 34 TCU 31Boise State -10, 58Underdog, Over

College Football Bowl Betting Resources

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