This Friday the UNLV Rebels (2-4) will host the Air Force Falcons (2-4). Kickoff for this MWC matchup is set for 10:00 EST at Sam Boyd Stadium and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Oddsmakers currently have Air Force anywhere from a 11.5 to 12.5-point road favorite depending on where you shop. The total is set for 56 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 8 college football odds and for more links to our game previews.
UNLV vs Air Force Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
The Falcons come into this one off a crushing 21-17 loss at San Diego State, as they had a 17-14 lead midway through the 4th quarter. Air Force did get the cover as a 11-point road dog, improving to 4-2 ATS on the season. It was a tough day at the office for the Falcons’ offense, which mustered a season-low 17 points.
The Rebels enter off a 59-28 blowout loss at Utah State, failing to cover as a 27.5-point underdog. That’s three straight losses for UNLV after their 2-1 start to the season. They are sitting at 3-3 ATS overall, but just 1-3 ATS in their last 4.
The Falcons won 34-30 at home in last year’s meeting between these two teams, with UNLV getting the cover as a 9-point road dog.
Free NCAAF Pick & Betting Predictions: Air Force -11.5
My early lean here would be on the Falcons to cover the double-digit spread on the road. I don’t love laying a big number on the road, but I think the matchup here heavily favors Air Force.
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I also think we are getting a shorter number, due to this being a potential trap game for the Falcons off the big game against San Diego State and a home game against Boise State looming next week. Had they pulled off the win over the Aztecs I might by this being a flat spot, but with a 2-4 record, Air Force needs this game if they want a legit shot at becoming bowl eligible.
Offensively, these are two very similar teams in terms of how the majority of their yards are produced. Air Force is 13th in the country in rushing (248.3 ypg) and just 126th in passing (106.8 ypg). UNLV is 8th in the country in rushing (257.2 ypg) and 124th in passing (123.7 ypg). Neither team offers much in terms of passing, but Air Force has been the more effective of the two when throwing. The Falcons average 7.3 yards/pass attempt, where the Rebels only average 4.8 yards/pass attempt.
You have to think given the numbers, that the team who has the better success establishing the run will have the edge in this game. As far as which of these two teams is better at stopping the run, it’s not even close. Air Force is 8th in the nation, giving up just 101.2 rushing yards/game and are holding teams to 3.2 yards/carry. UNLV on the other hand is 104th in the country against the run, allowing 199 ypg and are giving up 5.2 ypc. Note that Air Force dominated a run-heavy team in Navy, beating the Midshipmen 35-7 as a 2-point underdog.
I just think that due to the fact that both teams are sitting with a record of 2-4, we are seeing a much lower number than we should, as I think Air Force is without a doubt the superior team. The Falcons have 3 road losses against the likes of FAU, Utah State and San Diego State. UNLV’s only two wins are against UTEP and Prairie View and just a couple weeks ago lost at home to New Mexico by 36 points. I just don’t feel like it’s asking a lot for Air Force to win here by two touchdowns. Give me the Falcons -11.5.