HomeSports BettingFootball BettingArmed Forces Bowl – Baylor vs Air Force Predictions

Armed Forces Bowl – Baylor vs Air Force Predictions

Unlike their name, the Air Force Falcons have done most of their damage this season on the ground. They can string together back-to-back double digit win seasons for the first time since the late 1990s with a victory over the Baylor Bears in the Armed Forces Bowl. A trendy pick to win the Big 12 at the start of the season, the Bears are looking to avoid a losing season. Losses to three nationally ranked foes to close the regular season has them reeling at 6-6 SU, but the Bears have won four of their last five bowl games, including last season’s 21-7 decision over Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.

The Armed Forces Bowl college football game between the Baylor Bears and Air Force Falcons will take place at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, TX at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 22, 2022 and will be televised on ESPN.

Armed Forces Bowl – Baylor vs Air Force Odds

Baylor Bears -4

Air Force Falcons +4

Over/Under 43.5

Odds Analysis

They were the preseason favorite of some to win the Big 12, now the Bears are just trying to avoid a losing season. They dropped their final three regular season games to ranked teams, though they were in the last two holding a fourth quarter lead before succumbing to TCU and Texas. And apparently that’s a better look than Air Force’s 9-3 record that included wins in each of their last four games. Baylor opened as a 6.5-point favorite with that number slowly fading in favor of the Falcons. Steady money on Air Force brought the line down to Baylor -4. We’ve also seen the total drop to 43.5 after opening at 46.

Baylor Bears

The Mountain West is a decent G5 conference, but the bias is leaning heavily toward Baylor. The last three losses were against CFP participant TCU, conference champion K-State and Texas. Those are tough games to have on a season schedule yet alone to play in consecutive weeks. Baylor was a few minutes away from upsetting TCU allowing nine points in the final two minutes with the game-winning field goal coming with no time left in a 29-28 setback. They also led Texas early in the fourth before giving up 14 unanswered points. I guess you could say the Bears aren’t that far off also losing by a field goal to West Virginia and in OT to BYU.

The bottom line, though, is wins, and the Bears failed too many times, especially in crunch time. The regular season didn’t quite end the way Baylor was hoping and you have to wonder where the motivation is going to come from. Offensively the Bears are strong ranking among the top-40 in the FBS in total offense and scoring. Those numbers were skewed by non-conference wins over Albany and Texas State where Baylor scored a combined 111 points. Over the last three games the Bears averaged less than 20 points per game. Their balanced attack could pose problems for the smothering unit on the other side. Blake Shapen has thrown for over 2,600 yards with 16 touchdowns and Richard Reese averages 5.1 yards per carry with 14 scores.

Air Force Falcons

They don’t play Power 5 programs that often, but the Falcons have risen to the occasion in their most recent outings going 4-0 SU and ATS in their last four P5 matchups, including last season’s First Responder Bowl win over Louisville. And that game was unusual for the Falcons in that Haaziq Daniels threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 pass attempts. Throwing the football is something the Falcons just don’t do. They beat Colorado State 24-12 without completing a pass in only two attempts. I guess when you have the nation’s best ground game averaging over 335 yards you don’t need to throw the football.

Brad Roberts anchors the rushing attack with 1,612 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has the third-most yards in the FBS this season. John Lee Eldridge III has 701 rushing yards and Daniels operates the option to perfection adding 614 yards. Daniels had more passing yards in last season’s bowl game than the Falcons have had in their last five games combined. You have to give it up for AFA’s defense this season. The group allowed an average of 6.3 points in the last four games and ranks third in the FBS at 13.3 points per game. They are No. 1 in total defense and against the run making things tough for Baylor’s offense.

Baylor vs Air Force Prediction

Air Force doesn’t have to worry about redshirts and the transfer portal because neither of them is happening. While the competition in the Mountain West wasn’t as fierce as the Big 12, it’s still a decent G5 conference and Air Force, outside of a slip up at Wyoming that likely cost them a chance at the conference title, dominated most games. If the Falcons control the game running the football, Baylor’s chances of winning decrease dramatically. And no one runs the ball better.

Prediction: Air Force Falcons +4 and UNDER 43.5

View today’s college football betting odds.

Jake Flynn
Jake Flynn
Senior writer for Writes NBA, NCAA basketball, MLB, UFC and daily fantasy sports articles.

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