This is a high posted total in the Air Force vs. New Mexico contest considering the Falcons should be the only team scoring, and even they should be in letdown mode after playing Boise State tough.
In what is surprisingly a battle between two teams that are still winless in conference play, the Air Force Falcons (3-4 overall, 1-2 away) pay a visit to the New Mexico Lobos (0-7 overall, 0-4 home) on Saturday afternoon at University Stadium in Albuquerque, NM at 2:00 ET.
Air Force is surprisingly now 0-3 n Mountain West Conference play after playing Boise State tough in a more high profile game last week, but still coming out on the short end of a 37-26 score. The Falcons have now lost three straight games after a 3-1 start, but one of the other losses came at Notre Dame, so a home loss to San Diego State as 7½-point favorites on the betting odds was the only defeat during this losing streak that was not really expected.
The Falcons will almost certainly get that elusive first conference win and snap their losing streak here vs. a New Mexico team that just might be the worst team in the country at the FBS level.
The Lobos are 0-7 including a 48-45 home loss in overtime to Sam Houston State. To give you an idea of just how lightly regarded New Mexico is, the Lobos were actually 4½ point underdogs in that contest despite playing at home vs. an FCS opponent. In their six games vs. FBS schools, the Lobos scored 28 points vs. in state rivals New Mexico State and 13 points or less in the other five games.
In other words, Air Force may be the only team scoring in this game, and while it is conceivable that the Falcons can get over 60 points themselves vs. an awful New Mexico defense, that seems unlikely given that Air Force usually eats up time with its ground game and is also on a major breather alert after playing so well in Boise last week. Thus, the ‘under’ seems like the play at this rather enormous number.
The posted total at Legends Sports for this contest is 63½, with the current odds set at –110.
Air Force offense vs. New Mexico defense
As usual, Air Force has one of the best rushing attacks in the country, in fact ranking second in the FBS with 325.7 rushing yards per game while averaging a hefty 6.0 yards per carry. The difference this season is that the Falcons are actually throwing the ball a bit also, as quarterback Tim Jefferson, Jr. has passed for 998 yards in seven games while completing 61.0 percent of his passes and averaging 8.11 yards per pass attempt.
That said, the Falcons realize that probably he only possible way they could lose this game is if they turn the ball over a lot, so look for them to stick with their bread and butter and keep the ball on the ground, much like they did when they won this matchup 48-23 last season back home in Colorado springs, as the team rushed for 373 yards and passed for only 86 yards on just 10 pass attempts.
Air Force realizes that it can do basically whatever it pleases vs. an atrocious New Mexico defense that is surrendering 47.6 points and a disgusting 532.0 total yards per game, and the Falcons are too classy a program to run up the score unnecessarily on an outmanned opponent like this, especially when just getting a conference win would be satisfying enough.
New Mexico offense vs. Air Force defense
While the Lobos did manage 23 points in last year’s matchup, they will be hard-pressed to match that total here considering how anemic their offense has been since the start of conference play. In their conference opener at Nevada two weeks ago, New Mexico managed just 257 total yards in a 49-7 defeat. That seems like an offensive explosion though compared to the Lobos’ performance vs. TCU last week where they totaled an abysmal 85 yards in a 69-0 whitewashing!
Sure, defense is not Air Force’s strong suit as the Falcons are allowing 35.7 points on 433.0 yards per game themselves, but New Mexico lacks the playmakers to take advantage of that, and besides, Air Force actually did a good job defensively for the most part vs. Boise State although it was not reflected by the final score.
If you look only at raw records, the trends in this game would point to the ‘over’, as it is a perfect 7-0 in all Air Force games this season as well as 9-3 on the last 12 New Mexico conference games, What those records do not tell you however is that this week’s posted total is the highest of any Air Force game this year, and it is also higher than any of the 12 games in the aforementioned New Mexico conference ‘over’ streak.
Air Force figures to just run the ball all game long because, well, because it can. The Falcons should be able to move the chains with ease while running quite a bit o clock in the process, so we see them topping out at around 45 points. At the same time, even with Air Force’s defensive deficiencies, we simply do not trust New Mexico to score more than 13 points right now in their currently pathetic offensive state. Add it up and this game should stay ‘under’ this bloated total.
College Football Pick: Air Force, New Mexico ‘under’ 63½ (-110)