The Air Force Falcons (9-3, 7-5 ATS) will take on the Western Michigan Broncos (8-4, 10-2 ATS) in the 2014 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The game is scheduled for 5:45 EST Saturday, December 20 at Bronco Stadium in Boise and will be televised on ESPN. Oddsmakers currently have this game listed as a pick’em with the total set at 56.5 points.
Both of these teams put together remarkable turnarounds from last year. Air Force finished 2nd in the MWC Mountain Division at 5-3 and finished up 9-3 overall after going just 2-10 in 2013. Western Michigan had an equally impressive turnaround, as they finished 8-4 after going a mere 1-11. The Broncos ended up up 3rd in the MAC West Division at 5-3.
Early Lean on OVER 56.5
I don’t see a lot of value in the spread here as these are two evenly matched teams, which I believe could have this one going either way. I do however, think there is some value with what I feel is a low total. Western Michigan has one of the most underrated offenses in the country and finished up the year averaging 34.6 ppg, while Air Force average 30.9.
The big key here for me is that I think both offenses have the edge over the opposing defense and neither one of these stop units are that great. Western Michigan comes in 37th in the country in passing at 264.8 ypg and have one of the best kept secrets at running back in freshman Jarvion Franklin, who finished 8th in the nation with 1,525 rushing yards to go with 24 touchdowns and was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year. Air Force is 95th against the pass (256.0 ypg) and allowed 8.5 yards/attempt on the road. The Broncos are going to be able to do whatever they want, which should lead to a lot of quick scores.
The OVER is 11-3 in Air Force’s last 14 games when they allow 28 or more points and 8-1 in Western Michigan’s last 9 when they score 28 or more points. The Broncos have scored at least 32 points in 5 of their last 7 games.
The OVER is 11-3 in Air Force’s last 14 games when they allow 28 or more points and 8-1 in Western Michigan’s last 9 when they score 28 or more points. The Broncos have scored at least 32 points in 5 of their last 7 games. I just don’t see the Falcons being able to hold Western Michigan under 28 points, which is why I’m leaning towards taking the OVER in this one.
As for the Falcons offense, they come in 8th in the country in rushing at 272.2 ypg. While Western Michigan will have had plenty of time to prepare for the option-attack, I don’t think it’s going to help them slow down Air Force. The Broncos allowed 4.3 yards/carry and their run numbers are greatly aided by who they have played. Western Michigan allowed 226 yards on the ground to Purdue and 308 to Virginia Tech. The Boilermakers finished the year 72nd in rushing and the Hokies 89th. I look for Air Force to have no problem scoring 30+ points in this one, which should be more than enough to push this over the mark.
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