Air Force Falcons (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (1-7 SU, 4-3 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Friday, October 28, 2016 at 10:30PM EST
Where: Bulldog Stadium, Fresno, California
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: AF -13.5/FRES +13.5
Over/Under Total: 53.5
The Air Force Falcons face the Fresno State Bulldogs on Friday in action from northern California. This matchup lends itself to a wide array of possible conclusions. You have a pair of struggling Mountain West teams looking to get their seasons on the right track. You also have a team favored by nearly two touchdowns in the Falcons who have lost three games in a row and seem rudderless at this point. On Saturday, they lost at home in overtime to Hawaii, 34-27. Fresno State, meanwhile, is winless other than a victory over FCS school Sacramento State. If looking for the silver lining, they’ve covered their last three spreads, but it’s been slim pickings for the Bulldogs in 2016.
Solid performers at the betting windows, the Bulldogs have given it a go in a few instances, making Tulsa have to go to OT to beat them, putting Nevada to the test, making the Aztecs have to grind some, and with a somewhat-gritty cover against Utah State last week. All in all, however, the Bulldogs are a team heading in the wrong direction. Coach Tim DeRuyter looked to have them on the right track with two promising seasons, before coming up snake-eyes the past two seasons and really struggling this season. He was relieved of his duties following their 1-7 start. Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau will be the interim head coach for at least the remainder of the season.
The problems for the Bulldogs are almost too numerous to name. They are 124th in rushing defense, with them getting lit up to the tune of 267 yards per game. Their number-seven passing defense does reflect a good group, but one that is lightly tested with the front being so porous. They’re giving up a ton on the ground, though the point totals they’ve been allowing have gone down in the past several weeks. Make no mistake, however, even at home this “D” can be readily exploitable for an offense that can run the ball like Air Force can.
The offense is averaging just over 20 points a game and have only scored 23 in their last two. They can barely make a dent on the ground, though Dontel James can be useful in spots. QB Chason Vigil does his best and isn’t short on effort, but he struggles with a thin cast of playmakers. Through the air, they rely on a three-pronged attack of Aaron Peck (questionable), KeeSean Johnson, and Jamire Jordan. It’s the best part of the offense and they look for some success against an Air Force defense that sometimes struggles in that area. Another possible source of daylight in the darkness of a 1-7 season is that sometimes teams see a little upsurge on the heels of a coaching change and with Kiesau being an offensively-minded coach, maybe the Bulldogs will have a little more pep in their step this week.
Air Force has basically squandered a good start with three straight losses. They haven’t just failed to cover the spread in their last three games; they’ve missed the spread by a combined 66 points. Now here they are again as double-digit favorites against another supposedly-inferior team and it’s hard to pull the trigger again. As 17-point favorites at home against Hawaii on Saturday, they lost by 7 in overtime.
As usual, the Air Force run-game was in good shape, but the lack of any aerial attack is really starting to hurt this team. There were some good signs earlier in the season with Jalen Robinette and Timothy McVey creating some useful production. But QB Nate Romine’s last game underlined the lack of a passing game, as he was 1-for-10 passing with 20 yards and a pick. They have a deep cast of backs and are the 5th-ranked rushing offense in the country, but it’s obviously not enough as they are underperforming on offense to an alarming degree at this point.
Injuries and inconsistent play have undermined what looked like a pretty decent Air Force team earlier in the season. The front is a pretty lively group and actually quite adept in containing the run, but aerially, they have been put to the test in some spots and this could be another one against the Bulldogs. Against Wyoming, New Mexico, and Hawaii, this group seemed off the mark and looks to be a group in decline unless they can get it turned around.
For a team that has kept it close to home this season, Air Force could be tested coming into Fresno on the short week. They’re a team that seems a bit sideways and asking them to cover a big number this week after they fell on their face the last three games is a big ask. But teams like Fresno St. don’t can their coaches in the middle of a season with years left on their deals because things are going well. Still, being at home against a struggling team with a lot of points and a potential mini-spurt with a new face at the top could be enough. I like the Bulldogs.
Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Fresno State Bulldogs plus 13.5 points.
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2016/2017 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2017 National Championship game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9th.
2016 Heisman Trophy Predictions - DeShaun Watson is favored to win the award at +575 with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (+575) and LSU RB Leonard Fournette (+850) close behind. However, the real value may be with Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman at 40/1.
2016-2017 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the National Championship as a 4-horse race which includes Bama at +665, Clemson +725, LSU +900 and Ohio State +1075. Teams on teh bubble include Oklahoma at +1200, Michigan +1300 and FSU at +1350. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!
MyBookie - Get a HUGE 50% bonus (up to $1000 FREE!) after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em! 50% bonus up to $250 in free cash!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
Bookmaker - Offers a HUGE 50% sign up bonus up to $300! Enjoy LIVE college football betting where you can jump into the action at any time during the game and place a bet! This gives you a huge advantage!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - Clemson QB DeShaun Watson will have the ball in his hands a TON and he plays on a good team so he's the obvious favorite to win the award this year at +575. Leonard Fournette at 8.5/1 looks like he could play in the NFL right now. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. It's unlikely to happen as offensive players usually win this honor, but Michigan DB Jabrill Peppers (75-1) and Texas AM DT Myles Garret (110-1) could be in the running as well. It might be a good year to bet more than one prediction!
Odds to Win the 2016 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +700 followed by Ohio St. at +750 and Clemson at +800. Things drop off a bit with the Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all coming in at +1200. Check out your favorite school's odds here!