Washington State Cougars vs. Air Force Falcons Pick 12/27/19
Washington State Cougars (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS) at Air Force Falcons (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS)
College Football Cheez-It Bowl
Date and Time: Friday, December 27, 2019, 10:15 PM EST
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ.
Point Spread: WSU +3 /AF -3 (GTBets)
Over/Under Total: 67.5
Washington State qualified for its fifth consecutive bowl game under Head Coach Mike Leach this season, albeit a less impressive season than in previous years. At 6-6, the Cougs hope to finish also with a fifth consecutive winning season under Coach Leach.
The Falcons are playing in their 10th bowl game under Head Coach Troy Calhoun. Air Force has a 4-5 record in their previous bowl games. This is Air Force’s second Power Five opponent this year. They beat Colorado 30-23 in overtime on September 14.
How the Public is Betting the Game
The public is currently betting WSU 57 percent and Air Force 43 percent. The Over/Under percentage is presently 76 percent OVER and 24 percent UNDER.
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WSU: WR, B. Arconado, questionable wrist injury. Note, Arconado is arguably WSU’s best receiver.
AF: FB, T. Jackson, questionable, lower-body injury.
When Washington State has the Ball
WSU will stick with their Air Raid offense that leads the nation in passing at 5,332 yards thus far. Starting QB Anthony Gordon has tossed 45 TDs to as many as nine different receivers this season as the air raid spreads the field with several targets, including RB Max Borghi, out of the backfield. Borghi is also a strong “Christian McCaffery-like” back who just happened to attend the same high school as the Carolina Panther’s star RB. Washington State’s O-line does a good job, usually protecting Gordon as he is a statue in the pocket scanning the field for open targets. The Cougars should have no problem putting points on the board.
When Air Force has the Ball
Coach Calhoun’s offense runs a triple-option run-heavy attack. The Falcons average 292.5 yards rushing per game—which puts them second in the FBS. This running game will likely be successful against Washington State’s defense because of two main reasons. First, WSU has had trouble stopping the run all year. Second, the Cougars have never seen anything like this running scheme and will have to adjust quickly as the game plays out. Air Force will also put points on the board.
Why Bet the OVER?
I see both teams scoring a lot of points. The Washington State offense averages over 40 points per game and can score quickly with the air raid attack. Air Force’s running scheme with the triple-option is going be a challenge for WSU’s defense. The Coug’s D will likely give up several long runs early but might slow them down in the second half—that said, this game still goes over the 67 total. I think the bowl committee picked these teams for their ability to score after last year’s Cheez-It “Bored to death” Bowl Game score of 10-7 with TCU finally knocking off California in overtime. I do not believe either defense can hold these offensive attacks to under 35 points each. I like Washington State to outscore Airforce 45-42 in a fast-paced contest with the WSU Air Raid outlasting the AF Triple Option.
- WSU is 4-1 in their last five vs. MWC.
- Cougars are 4-1 in their last five gamers on grass.
- OVER is 4-0 in Falcons last four games.
Head to Head: First meeting between these two teams
Game time conditions in Phoenix will be in the upper 50s. There is a 54 percent chance of rain. Humidity: 67 percent. Wind: 6 mph
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the OVER. Luck to ya.
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