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Air Force’s 2019 Regular-Season Win Total Ranges from 6.5 to 8.0; Should Bettors Middle the Falcons?

Air Force Academy cheerleaders on the sideline.
Photo by Air Force Academy [CC License].
  • Air Force’s win total is at 6.5 at BetOnline and 8.0 at Bovada
  • Falcons have posted a 5-7 record in back-to-back years
  • All seven of Air Force’s losses last year were by 10 points or fewer

The Falcons have posted two straight losing seasons but are poised to take a step forward in 2019.

A narrow losing margin in 2018 could make them a good bet to middle at 6.5 wins at BetOnline and 8.0 at Bovada this year.

Here are how BetOnline and Bovada set up Air Force’s NCAAF Win Total in 2019.

Air Force 2019 Win Totals

Team Air Force Win Total Odds at BetOnline Odds at Bovada
Air Force 6.5 (-240o/+200u) 8.0 (+155o/-190u)

*Odds taken 08/08/19

Falcons Roster has Question Marks

The Falcons entered camp without a clear No. 1 quarterback for first time in six seasons. A good competition is ongoing between senior Isaiah Sanders and junior Donald Hammond III for the starting role.

Sanders has more experience, but he’s failed to hold on to the starting gig and will be challenged by the junior.  Hammond has plenty of promise and threw five touchdown passes with only two interceptions in 2018.

Fullback Cole Fagan won’t be back this season after he showed plenty of promise in his breakout junior year. He ran for 997 yards in 2018, but was removed from the team in April and is the subject of an academy investigation.

Tailback Kadin Remsberg should be ready to step up after posting the best Opportunity Rate (67%) among any Mountain West runner with at least 100 carries in 2018, while fullback Taven Birdow improved his own Opportunity Rate to 50% last season and will take on a bigger role this time around.

Newcomers will need to step up to replace departed wide receivers Marcus Bennett and Ronald Cleveland. Geraud Sanders wasn’t able to find the end zone last season but he finished third in receiving yards and receptions in 2018, catching 14 passes for 236 yards. Brandon Lewis is also expected to help fill the void after caching five of eight passes for 100 yards last year.

Reasons to Be Optimistic

Jordan Jackson, a 2018 Second-Team All MWC selection, had an excellent sophomore season, finishing with 54 tackles and leading the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Senior Mosese Fifita is another one to watch after he recorded 25 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack in 2018.

Air Force has a solid defense and there are players primed to  take steps forward in 2019. Safety Jeremy Fejedelem will lead the charge in the secondary after recording 104 total tackles and three interceptions last year. All-Mountain West Second-Team defensive end Jordan Jackson headlines the defensive line after he recorded 4.5 sacks in 2018, while Kyle Johnson is the top linebacker.

Falcons Have Manageable Schedule

The Falcons are a quality sleeper team in the Mountain West due to their narrow loss-margin last year. Improved passing defense would have certainly turned a few of those seven losses into victories.

While the Falcons’ schedule isn’t easy, the team came very close to earning a few extra victories in 2018.  They’ll be in tough against Fresno State, Boise State and Colorado, but it’s reasonable to think they could earn seven victories in 2019 against San Jose State, Navy, Utah State, New Mexico, Colorado State, and Wyoming, plus a layup against Colgate to open the year. 

Analysis

I like the the chances to middle with Air Force at 6.5 wins at BetOnline and 8.0 at Bovada. The Falcons have finished in the top 5 nationally in rushing yards each of the past five seasons, and Fagan’s absence won’t be a major issue.

Coach Troy Calhoun is heading into his 13th season and has experience working with different combinations every season. Isaiah Sanders and Donald Hammond could form a lethal duo at the quarterback position, while five of last year’s top six running backs and six linemen with starting experience are returning.

Given how tough it’s going to be for Air Force to get to nine wins, the Falcons are a good bet to middle and play in a bowl game for the first time since the Arizona Bowl in 2016.

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