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Air Force vs. UNLV,
10-19-2018 - Pick and Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#309 Air Force
Falcons -9.5
#310 UNLV
Rebels 54.5

Friday, October 19, 2018 at 10:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Air Force Falcons

2 - 4


UNLV Rebels

2 - 4


Air Force Falcons vs. UNLV Runnin Rebels

Where and when:  Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, Thursday, 10:00 pm EST

Air Force will travel to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, to face the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels on Friday night beginning at 10 pm EST for an all-important Mountain West showdown.  Both teams find themselves winless in the conference currently as the Falcons lost a heartbreaker on the road last Saturday versus the San Diego State Aztecs by a 21-17 score as it was a defensive battle throughout with both teams putting up less than 300 total yards for the contest.  The Rebels lost on the road to the Utah Sate Aggies by a 59-28 score last Saturday as they went in at the half down by a 42-7 score after scoring the first points of the game to lead 7-0.  From there, the Aggies scored 42 unanswered to take a lead at the half to which they never relinquished.  The last time these teams met was on October 14, 2017 as the Falcons picked up the 34-30 home win as UNLV covered as nine-point road underdogs.  The over has not only been the play in eight of the last ten games amongst these squads, but, also in four of the last five games in Las Vegas.  The Falcons are 1-4 ATS in the last five game in Las Vegas.

UNLV allows 50 points again in loss

UNLV laid yet another egg for the season as they fell hard to the high-scoring Utah State Aggies last Saturday as they have allowed their opponents to score at least fifty points in their last two outings while their offense only put 42 points on the board during this time.  Their 111th ranked defense allowed 221 yards to the Aggies while their 97th ranked pass defense allowed 12.2 yards per catch to the home team as Josh Love passed for 322 yards along with five TD’s in the game.  Max Gilliam, on the other hand, threw for 250 yards along with three touchdown passes and an interception while Tyleek Collins led the receiving corps with 139 yards and a TD.  UNLV’s rushing attack obtained 154 yards on the ground, which was 100 yards below their per game average for the year; However, Lexington Thomas led the way with 51 yards and a score in the loss.

They may experience much less success on the ground this weekend as Air Force allows only 101 yards per game, good for eighth in the nation.  Couple this with the fact that running back Thomas suffered a severe head injury in their loss to the Aggies, and one could surmise that things will certainly not get better at all for the Runnin’ Rebels this weekend either.

Air Force falls to Aztecs in close contest

In a tight game throughout, the Aztecs scored on a Parker Houston 29-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Agnew for the winning score while sending the Falcons to their fourth loss in five games.  The 13th ranked rushing attack for Air Force picked up 214 yards on the day with Cole Fagan leading the way with 90 yards on 16 rushes.  Again, the game was a defensive matchup as both teams struggled to pick up yardage throughout the game.  To make matter worse for the Falcons, Donald Hammond III is day to day with an ankle injury and is uncertain to play in this matchup.  He has 224 passing yards with two TDs and 105 rushing yards with five TDs this season.

Air Force has been pretty good defensively, holding teams to just 21.8 points per game (37th) and 101.2 rushing yards (8th). With their option offense, they are averaging 248.3 rushing yards (13th) and 106.8 passing yards (126th). .

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Air Force will get back on the winning track in this matchup as the Rebels have had their fair share of troubles stopping the run throughout the year.  In fact, they are allowing 37 points to their opponents this year and will certainly have problems solving the triple option attack for the Falcons on Friday night.  With that being said, this will be a tight matchup, however, look for Air Force to exert their dominance in the trenches early and often versus a UNLV team that lacks the physicality to compete against an offense to where focus and discipline is needed in which to win.

Prediction: Pick:  Air Force Falcons -400

Full-Game Total Pick

With Air Force possibly being without their top signal caller along with their defense playing well in allowing only 22 points per game in addition to the Runnin’ Rebels only averaging 21 points in their last two outings, I will pick the under as the strong play in this contest.  Also, aside from their contests versus Prairie View A&M and UTEP, the Runnin’ Rebels have really stunk it up on offense.  Expect this to be the case with Air Force coming to town as the defense will certainly step up to assist their offense that will definitely struggle if Hammond III is not in the lineup despite his backup performing decent last weekend.

Prediction: Pick: Under 57

Full-Game Prop Bet

Air Force will get themselves back on track on offense in this game as the Runnin’ Rebels are terrible in defending the run, as stated.  Combine this with the fact that they have allowed their opponents to run up the score in their last few contests, expect the Falcons to take charge within the trenches early and often on their way to covering the spread while also picking up a much-needed win on Friday night.  Besides, the Falcons’ triple option attack, which can certainly be dangerous when the offensive line dominates at the line of scrimmage, will come to life once again as UNLV has struggled in defending the run especially all year long and will lack the focus and discipline to defend such an offense in this contest.

Prediction: Pick: Air Force Falcons -12

Half-Time Side Pick

Again, the Falcons will be sure to exert themselves in the trenches early in this matchup as they are well aware that the Runnin’ Rebels, for a lack of a better or more accurate word, stink at stopping the run this year.  Combine this with the fact that they will be looking to get the taste out of their mouths from losing three straight contests, I will ride the Air Force in the first half to cover the six points at the half.  In fact, the road team should have this game well in hand, altogether, as the second quarter comes to a close.

Prediction: Pick: Air Force Falcons -6

Half-Time Total Bet

I will back the over at the half and the Falcons will indeed take control of this game early as UNLV will find out quickly that they will have problems defending a triple option attack that is ranked as one of the best rushing attacks in the nation.  Keep in mind that Air Force has struggled recently due to them matching up with average to above average defenses that possessed the talent and physicality to neutralize their running game.  UNLV is definitely not one of those teams and will struggle throughout the first half in figuring out such an attack that has been the bread and butter for Air Force for years.

Prediction: Pick: Under 28.5

Half-Time Prop Prediction

As stated, there are no signs that point to the Falcons not being able to cruise in this contest.  With UNLV allowing over 30 per to their opponents in their last two outings, this will very well be another route for the road team.  Of course, the Runnin’ Rebels will attempt to keep the game within reach by working on a lackluster pass defense for the Falcons, however, Air Force will control the time of possession with their punishing triple option attack in which to keep the home team’s offense from taking the field throughout.

Prediction: Pick: Air Force Falcons -280

Falepa Emme

A true analyst for a variety of sports, Falepa Emme has been a sports enthusiast for decades. His ability to read, learn, write, and constantly think sports will offer a unique perspective to NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL, along with MLB contests. Falepa's passion for analytics in each of these areas will certainly benefit the reader in obtaining more insight into upcoming match-ups.


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