Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Air Force vs. Utah State Predictions, Odds


  • December 3, 2020
  • By Jonathan Willis
  • VegasInsider.com

We’ve only seen the Air Force Falcons on the field one time since their loss to Boise State on Halloween. They blasted outmatched New Mexico two weeks ago, but they weren’t able to take on Colorado State last week due to COVID.

Fortunately, it looks like the Falcons are good to go this week against the Utah State Aggies.

BETTING RESOURCES

Air Force-Utah State Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Air Force -10.5
  • Money-Line: Air Force -350, Utah State +280
  • Total: 50.5

Odds Subject to Change

How to Handicap Air Force-Utah State

The Aggies picked up their first victory of the season last week against New Mexico. Utah State had lost its first four games, and the Aggies failed to cover in any of those losses. They were unable to score more than 16 points in any of those four defeats, so Utah State’s closest loss was a 19-point defeat at the hands of Fresno State.

Utah State trailed New Mexico 13-6 at halftime, but the Aggies turned it on in the first 10 minutes of the second half with four straight touchdowns to take a commanding lead. Andrew Peasley closed the door on a 62-yard touchdown run that was the final score in a 41-27 victory for the six-point underdog Aggies.

Air Force has been able to run the ball effectively in three of its four games. The Falcons picked up big chunks of yards against Navy, Boise State, and New Mexico, easily winning and covering the number against the Midshipmen and the Lobos. The defense has been lights out in three games, but the Broncos gashed the Falcons.

Betting Analysis – Air Force Falcons

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

  • 2020: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 1-3 O/U

Troy Calhoun led Air Force to an 11-2 record last season. That led to high expectations going into the offseason, but the Falcons are unlikely to play for the MWC title after losses to Boise State and San Jose State.

The Falcons have the most overpowering run game in the country. Air Force is averaging 5.8 YPC and 336.5 YPG on the ground, as their hybrid triple option continues to befuddle opponents. No player has carried the ball more than 40 times, but six different players have 20 or more carries as this offense constantly rotates players in and out to keep their legs fresh.

Unlike Army and Navy, Air Force typically has some success in the passing game. That’s the case this year too with Haaziq Daniels under center. Daniels is completing 54.8 percent of his passes for 6.4 YPA with a touchdown. He has also run for 5.0 YPC.

Tight end Kyle Patterson and wide receiver Brandon Lewis have combined to catch 17 of Air Force’s 21 completed passes on the year. Patterson has nine receptions for 140 yards, while Lewis has eight catches for 68 yards.

This defense has done a very good job of stopping the run. Opponents are averaging 3.6 YPC and 106.8 YPG on the ground against Air Force. However, the pass defense has been another story. The Falcons are giving up 8.1 YPA through the air, and good quarterbacks can take advantage of these defensive backs.

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Betting Analysis - Utah State Aggies

  • 2020: 1-4 S/U, 1-4 ATS, 3-2 O/U

Gary Andersen was fired after Utah State’s first three games of the 2020 season. He had a lot of success with the Aggies from 2009 to 2012, but he could never get it going in his return to Logan. Co-defensive coordinator Frank Maile is the interim head coach.

Maile isn’t the only new face of the program. Starting quarterback Jason Shelley was dismissed after reports that he hit another player in the locker room after a loss. That led to Peasley getting his first start against New Mexico. Peasley shined by completing 14 of 21 passes for 239 yards with three touchdowns, and he ran the ball 11 times for 118 yards and a score.

Jaylen Warren was the team’s leading rusher, averaging 6.5 YPC, but he entered the transfer portal on Sunday. That will make Devonta’e Henry-Cole the No. 1 running back for the last few games of the season. Henry-Cole is averaging 4.4 YPC, and he has carried the ball 21 times for 126 yards in Utah State’s last two games.

Leading receiver Deven Thompkins recently entered the transfer portal too, so Peasley will look to Justin McGriff as his primary option. McGriff is a mismatch at 6’6, and he had four receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown last week.

The defense has lost some top players too. Standout safety Troy Lefeged and linebackers Maika Magalei and Cash Gilliam have also decided to leave the program. Utah State is allowing 35.2 PPG and 490.2 YPG, ranking outside the top 100 in both categories.

Historically Speaking

Head-to-Head

These schools only met one time before Utah State joined the Mountain West in 2013. Air Force beat Utah State 38-13 in 1969, and it took over four decades before these programs faced off again.

The Aggies won the first two meetings in 2013 and 2014, but the Falcons have won four of the last five games in this series.

Last Meeting

Air Force completely manhandled Utah State last year. Jordan Love had one of the worst games of his career, completing just 14 of 23 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in a 30-7 Air Force victory. The Falcons had 448 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, while the Aggies could only muster 128 total yards. Utah State didn’t commit a single penalty though, so that’s something rather unique.

Notable Betting Trends

-- The Falcons have not covered in any of their last five Thursday night games.

-- Utah State is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games as a home underdog.

-- The favorite has covered the number in each of the last four games.

Air Force-Utah State Predictions

  • Score Prediction: Air Force 38, Utah State 17
  • Best Bet: Air Force -11.5


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