Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Colorado State vs. Air Force Week 13 Predictions, Odds

  • November 26, 2020
  • By Jonathan Willis

Colorado State-Air Force Predictions

  • Score Prediction: Colorado State 24, Air Force 20
  • Best Bet: Colorado State +5.5

One of the most unheralded rivalry trophies will be up for grabs on Thanksgiving when the Air Force Falcons take on the Colorado State Rams for the Ram-Falcon Trophy.

These two rivals are about two hours apart on I-25, and they have been playing annually since 1978.

Air Force leads this series 36-21-1, and the Falcons have won four straight coming into Thursday.


Colorado State-Air Force Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Air Force -5.5
  • Money-Line: Air Force -210 Colorado State +180
  • Total: 55

Odds Subject to Change

How to Handicap Colorado State-Air Force

This will be Air Force’s second game since Halloween.

A COVID-19 outbreak caused the Falcons’ game against Army to be postponed and their clash with Wyoming canceled, so last Friday night’s tilt with New Mexico was their first in three weeks. Air Force didn’t show much rust in a 28-0 win over the Lobos.

The under is 3-1 in Air Force games, and two of those games went under the total by significant margins. The Falcons game against New Mexico had a total of 55.5, while their 17-6 loss to San Jose State went under the total by more than 40 points.

Oddsmakers have had a tough time getting a handle on this team as Air Force hammered Navy by 33 points as a touchdown underdog and lost by double digits to SJSU as over a touchdown favorite.

Colorado State has been a difficult team to get a handle on too. The Rams lost by three touchdowns as a short road favorite against Fresno State in their opener, but then they beat Wyoming by double digits despite being an underdog.

They were hammered by Boise State in their last game two weeks ago, but that was a fluky result with the Broncos scoring three special teams touchdowns off of blocked punts or field goals in the first half.

Betting Analysis – Colorado State Rams

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • 2020: 1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS, 2-1 O/U

Senior quarterback Patrick O’Brien took over for Todd Centeio at quarterback after an iffy performance in the season opener, and he hasn’t looked back. O’Brien has been a much more accurate passer, giving Colorado State a real threat in the passing game. He has completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 8.5 YPA with three touchdowns and an interception.

Any Steve Addazio team prides itself on running the ball.

Addazio loves a power run game, but he has relied on a former receiver to be his primary ball carrier this year. Running back Ajon Vivens has run for 164 yards (4.8 YPC), and he has been a lot more efficient than bruiser Marcus McElroy Jr. who is averaging 1.9 YPC.

Colorado State has two receivers that have been responsible for nearly all their receiving yards.

Tight end Trey McBride has been one of the best at his position with 17 receptions for 268 yards and four touchdowns. Dante Wright has 15 receptions for 255 yards, and he has been the deep threat when the Rams look to stretch the field.

It’s been a tale of two units for the Rams’ defense.

Colorado State is allowing 38.0 PPG, but the front seven has been great. The Rams are allowing 2.5 YPC and just over 105 YPG. Unfortunately, this secondary has been problematic. The defensive backs are conceding 8.9 YPA and 290.3 YPG through the air.

T&C's Apply, 21+, Only in CO

Betting Analysis - Air Force Falcons

  • 2020: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 1-3 O/U

There isn’t a team that runs the ball better than Air Force in college football.

The Falcons are running for an FBS best 336.5 yards per game, averaging 5.8 YPC in head coach Troy Calhoun’s system.

RB Brad Roberts leads the team with 280 yards (7.4 YPC) and four touchdowns, but this ground attack comes at opponents in waves with Calhoun constantly bringing in fresh legs. Six different players have run for at least 100 yards through four games.

Quarterbacks Haaziq Daniels and Warren Bryan are both over the century mark, and fullbacks Timothy Jackson and Matthew Murla are both averaging more than 5.0 YPC. The experienced offensive line plays a big part in this success as all five starters up front are seniors.

Air Force typically has slightly better passers under center than the other service academies. That gives the Falcons more opportunities to mix things up, and Daniels has kept defenses from completely selling out by completing 17 of 31 passes for 199 yards with a touchdown.

Tight end Kyle Patterson and wide receiver Brandon Lewis are the targets nearly all the time, combining to bring in 17 of Air Force’s 21 completions.

The Falcons rank 12th in scoring defense (18.2 PPG) and 18th in total defense (326.2 YPG).

However, they are conceding 8.1 YPA, so quality quarterbacks can pick apart this secondary. Air Force ranks 72nd in defensive SP+ as the lack of a pass rush has played a big part in the woes of the pass defense.

Historically Speaking


The Falcons have consistently had the upper hand over the Rams since Calhoun took over in Colorado Springs.

Air Force is 11-2 against Colorado State under his watch, scoring 34 points or more in nine of those games.

Last Meeting - 2019 (Air Force 38 Colorado State 21)

Air Force exploded in the fourth quarter last year to beat Colorado State 38-21. The Rams took a 14-10 lead into the final frame, but Donald Hammond III led the Falcons on three straight touchdown drives to give his team the lead.

Zane Lewis capped off the comeback for Air Force with a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown with under 90 seconds remaining.

Notable Betting Trends

-- Air Force has failed to cover five straight Thursday games

-- The over is 10-3 in the last 13 games between these teams

-- The underdog has covered the spread in five of the last six games

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