NCAAF Betting: Roll The Dice On South Alabama Moneyline Vs. Air Force In Arizona Bowl

south alabama football

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 4:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 4:13 PM UTC

The Air Force Falcons need to change their name as it's all about their ground game for a Dec. 30 matchup with the South Alabama Jaguars in the Arizona Bowl, which is only streamed online for your viewing pleasure.

Season Record: 11-13-2 ATS, 1-1 Totals

If you really want to mess up your opponents, show them something they’ve never seen before. The Falcons (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS) are one of those rare teams – almost all of them military programs – that runs the triple-option offense. And it’s served them reasonably well during bowl season; the Falcons are 3-5 SU and 4-3 ATS since Troy Calhoun took over the coaching reins in 2007, improving to 3-3 SU and 4-1 ATS the past five bowl games.

Naturally, the Falcons have been drawing most of the early action for their Arizona Bowl matchup on Dec. 30 (5:30 p.m. ET, ASN) with the Jaguars of the Sun Belt Conference. Air Force opened at -12.5 on the NCAA football odds board and moved to -13.5 by press time with a total of 57.5 points. Even at the higher price, our consensus reports show two-thirds of early bettors on the Falcons. Shall we join them?

Going Rouge

It’s not like the Jaguars (6-6 SU, 3-9 ATS) are brining much to the dance. The Sun Belt is one of the weakest conferences in the FBS, and South Alabama check in at No. 95 overall (No. 102 offense, No. 69 defense, No. 102 special teams) on the S&P charts at Football Outsiders. But at least they’ve seen the triple-option; the Georgia Southern Eagles use it, and they beat the Jags (+13.5 at home) 24-9 in Week 2.

@starwars the force is strong with the Air Force Falcons Football team! #StarWars #LetsFly #RougeOne

— Air Force Football (@AFFootball) October 13, 2016

Even if they can’t spell Rogue (and who am I to throw stones?), Air Force is more battle-tested coming out of the Mountain West, although that isn’t saying much. The Falcons are No. 58 overall (No. 52 offense, No. 80 defense, No. 25 special teams) on the S&P charts, definitely two steps or three ahead of South Alabama. It’s a mismatch on paper, no doubt about it.

But maybe not enough of one. ESPN’s gloriously-free Football Power Index projects the Falcons to win the Arizona Bowl 77.5 percent of the time, which works out to roughly -345 on the moneyline, according to our delightful SBR Betting Odds Converter. That’s around -9.5 on the spread. And our consensus reports show unanimous support for the Jaguars at +415, up from +370 at the open. That’s our NCAA football pick here at the home office, too. Enjoy the game if you can find it, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NCAAF Free Pick: USA +415 Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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