College Football Picks: UNLV vs. Air Force

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:02 PM GMT

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 2:02 PM GMT

The Air Force Falcons host the UNLV Rebels on Thursday, and according to college football odds Air Force is a 1.5 favorite.  Will they be your college football pick for this matchup?

Down Year at the Academy

The Air Force Falcons have struggled through a 2-8 season thus far. One of those wins came in their season opener versus Colgate who is a FCS team. They were able to salvage a positive from the season 3 weeks ago in a 42-28 home win over service academy rival the Army Cadets. The Air Force defense has been their major weakness this season allowing 478.3 yards per game which is 119th in the country. The Falcons have allowed 42-points or more in 6-games this season. This is also one of the rare occasions over the last 20 years, that an Air Force team is averaging less than 300 yards per game rushing.

Rebels with a Cause

The UNLV Rebels will be making their 3rd attempt at attaining that elusive 6th win, which would make them bowl eligible. That feat itself would qualify them as one of the surprises of the 2013 college football season. The Rebels were a consensus college football pick to finish last in the 6-team West Division of the MWC. The Rebels have also been very kind to their backers covering 6 of their last 8-games.

Last week as a 16.5 point home underdog in college football odds, they gave Utah St. all they can handle in a 28-24 defeat. The Rebels allowed the Aggies to score the go ahead touchdown with just 3:56 to go in the game. A major concern for the Rebels versus Air Force will be their inability to stop the run. They’ve allowed an average of 235.5 yards per game on the ground this season. That’s not good news when having to face an opponent which is 11th best in the country averaging 277 yards rushing per game.

Final Analysis

This is a tale of two programs that are in uncustomary positions. The UNLV Rebels are on the cusp of qualifying for a bowl game if they can just earn one more win. That’s an accomplishment that very fews sportsbooks, if anyone, would have predicted before the season started. This is an Air Force football program suffering through one of the worst seasons in recent memory. The Rebels can ill afford to let this golden opportunity go by the wayside. The Falcons will resemble a team that’s playing out the string.

Free Pick: UNLV +1.5 over Air Force

[gameodds]6/239131/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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