Idaho Potato Bowl Picks: Bet Air Force -1 vs. West Michigan

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, December 18, 2014 7:11 PM GMT

East meets West when W. Michigan travels to Boise, Idaho to face an Air Force team who is familiar with this venue as a Mt. West member. Find out who we like for our college football picks

West Michigan vs. Air Force (-1-) 5:45 ET ESPN
The unique blue surface of the Boise home field can be an intimidating factor to those who play on it for the first time. 

We will follow the money of a line swing that has seen Air Force become a small favorite after W. Michigan opened as 2 point chalk.  As a backdrop for many of these early season Bowl contests, I note the poor record of MAC teams in Bowl games in recent seasons. In fact, MAC teams are now on negative Bowl runs of 8-19 ATS, 3-9 ATS and 0-5 ATS last year. These 2 teams made among the biggest turnarounds in CFB this season. Last year, in the debut season under HC Flack, W. Michigan went 1-11 SU. 

This year, behind QB Terrell and frosh RB Franklin, the Broncos went 8-4 SU and 11-1 against the college football betting odds spread, failing to the pointspread only in the season finale, when N. Illinois roared back from a double digit margin to defeat W. Michigan (31-21) crushing the Bronco hopes of a MAC championship. That crushing defeat could well have a negative effect on the psyche of this team, who could well succumb to the Peter Principle of simply meeting their goal of playing in a Bowl game.  

The Air Force season was a bit more impressive.  Fly Boy fortunes went from 2-10 SU to 9-3 SU.  Credit the work of HC Calhoun and veteran QB Pearson. Among their achievements was the CIC Trophy in which they covered in Army and Navy victories by 27 points. Playing against the Mountain West big boys, they also covered against Boise and Colorado St. by a combined 37 points. Their 3 defeats were characterized by a -8 net TO margin. Yet, since this is a military academy, there is no chance of a letdown for this game. 

Fundamental advantage is the Fly Boy’s flex bone, a triple option attack which is rarely seen by W. Michigan players.  As an intangible, consider the site advantage for Air Force on a field where they play Boise St. and the fact that W. Michigan figures to have little support at a distant site. Yet, despite all the positives for Air Force (due to the W. Michigan pointspread streak), this is a game in which Air Force will be laying a TD less than what they would have opening week.  For our free college football picks, we think Air Force gets this victory against a W. Michigan team who peaked in November.

Free College Football Picks: Bet Air Force (-1-) at 5Dimes

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