Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#309 Air Force 54 vs.
#310 Boise State -7
Friday, September 20, 2019 at 9:00pm EDT
Albertsons Stadium, Boise
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#309 Air Force Academy
#310 Boise State University
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The #20 Boise State Broncos will open MWC conference play when they host the Air Force Falcons Friday night from Albertsons Stadium. Air Force has won each of their first two games highlighted by terrific defensive play. They cruised to a 48-7 win against Colgate of the FCS in week one, followed by a big 30-23 overtime road win against Colorado of the PAC-12 last week. The Air Force offense revolves around their running game led by Kadin Remsberg with 208 rushing yards.

The Boise State Broncos enter their conference opener with a perfect 3-0 record. The Broncos displayed their talent in a big 36-31 road win against Florida State of the ACC in their season opener, succeeded by wins against Marshall and Portland State. Boise State is a well-rounded team with a strong passing offense led by QB Hank Bachmeier and a stellar defense. The Broncos climbed two spots to #20 in the country in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings. The Broncos registered a 48-38 road win against Air Force in October of last season.

Falcons Outlast Colorado in Clutch OT Victory

The Air Force Falcons enter their MWC opener full of confidence after posting a clutch 30-23 road win against Colorado of the PAC-12 last week in a game that had the Falcons labeled as three-point underdogs. QB Donald Hammond III was busy handing the ball off and he finished with 155 passing yards with two passing touchdowns after sitting out in week one. The junior QB split the duties with Isaiah Sanders last season and he only tallied 623 passing yards in 2018 on an offense that focuses heavily on the run.

The Falcons utilize multiple running backs led by Kadin Remsberg who accumulated 146 rushing yards at Colorado last week. The junior RB rushed for 583 yards in 2018, and he has amassed 208 yards in two games this year. Taven Birdow is also a threat as he has registered 147 rushing yards on the year. Geraud Sanders leads Air Force with 97 receiving yards.

The Air Force offense only attempted one pass in their 48-7 week one win against Colgate, followed by 12 pass attempts last week. They will have to use their passing offense again in this one considering Boise State is sharp against the run.

The Falcons defense deserves a ton of credit in their 2-0 start. They limited Colorado to only 325 total yards which is very encouraging against a decent Pac-12 offense. Air Force is outstanding against the pass, standing 16th in the country. The Falcons have averaged 39 points in two games, good for 28th overall, while holding their opponents to an average of 15 points, placing them 28th in the FBS.

#20 Boise State Posts 3-0 Start

The Boise State Broncos only lost three games last year, and they have kicked off their season with three consecutive wins. Broncos QB Hank Bachmeier has done a great job in his first year as the #1 QB, collecting 927 passing yards with four touchdowns, although he has tossed three picks. The young QB is a true freshman, and he flashed his potential with over 400 passing yards against Florida State in week one. The Broncos have split the duties on the ground with George Holani and Robert Mahone. Both have posted almost identical numbers and they have combined for 431 yards. Mahone is questionable for this one with a shoulder injury.

The Broncos have a solid receiving core led by Khalil Shakir who has developed early chemistry with Bachmeier, bringing in 17 catches for 237 yards in three games. The Broncos offense has picked up right off where they left off last year even though they have a freshman QB that has led the Broncos to the 13th ranked passing offense in the FBS.

The Boise State defense is usually among the best in the MWC and this year has been no different. They contained the Seminoles rushing offense in week one and they will be tested in a big way against an Air Force offense that will run the ball several times. Boise State has averaged 31.7 points, placing them 66th overall, while holding their opponents to an average of only 16 points, good for 32nd in the country.

Of course, stopping the run is the major key in this one against a triple-option team.

“It’s not just triple option. They actually are very creative in their formations. They’re creative in how they attack each team,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. “They try to find, like every offense does, a weakness and try to attack it. … Offense is about execution, and they execute very well and at a high level, and they do it consistently.”

“Everybody thinks triple option is three yards and a cloud of dust. That’s not this,” defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding said. “They have explosive plays and they rely on explosive plays.”

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This is a very reasonable spread in Boise State’s favor on their home field. The Broncos feature a potent offense led by QB Hank Bachmeier who has led his team to the 13th ranked passing offense in the entire FBS with an average of 343 passing yards per game. They were able to accumulate over 400 passing yards against Florida State of the ACC in week one, so I am confident they can solve the Falcons defense.

Furthermore, Air Force does not have much of a passing game as they have only attempted 13 passes in two games. The problem is the Broncos feature a strong rush defense has limited their opposition to an average of only 109 rushing yards in three games. This will likely force Air Force to resort to their passing game more frequently, however, Boise State also has a stellar pass defense that stands 23rd in the FBS.

Prediction: Boise State Broncos

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am taking the under in this one. Boise State has only allowed a combined 48 points in their three games which included a 14-7 win against Marshall. While Air Force scored 48 points in their first game, they were up against Colgate who doesn’t play in the FBS. They only managed 23 points before overtime against Colorado last week, and Boise State has a better defense than Colorado. Also, considering the under is 4-0 in the Broncos last four conference games.

In addition, while Boise State should do enough to cover these points, the Air Force defense is a strength. They limited Pac-12 opponent Colorado to only 105 rushing yards and 325 total yards last week which shows they can contain stronger opponents, plus the under is 4-1 in their last five September games.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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I expect Boise State to neutralize the Falcons offense in this one. Air Force has a tough challenge against this defense. As mentioned Air Force runs the ball almost the entire game and Boise State was able to hold Cam Akers and the Seminoles to only 99 total rushing yards in week one. The Falcons had their way on the ground against their first two opponents, but Boise State presents a much tougher task. The Falcons don’t have a strong enough passing offense to compensate if they struggle on the ground.

Prediction: Air Force Team Total Under

Half-Time Side Pick

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I am siding with Air Force on the halftime line. Air Force was able to outscore Colorado 20-10 in the first half last week. I expect the Broncos to pull away in the second half where they have outscored their opponents by a combined 41-0 score in three games which included a perfect second half against Florida State.

Prediction: Air Force Falcons
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.