The Air Force Falcons will head into Saturday’s game with a chance at becoming bowl eligible. They’ll take on the Army Black Knights, who are just 3-4 on the season. Air Force is coming off a 19-14 loss to Boise State, but they’ve still won 3 of their last 5 games.
Meanwhile, Army is on a two-game win streak with wins over Colgate and UL Monroe. Those were games Army was expected to win by large margins.
These 2 teams will run the triple-option on offense, but both defenses are very comfortable with defending these kinds of offenses.
Can Air Force cover a full touchdown spread? Here are our NCAAF picks and predictions for Saturday’s matchup between the Air Force Falcons vs. Army Black Knights.
Air Force Falcons vs. Army Black Knights
Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 11:30 AM EDT at Choctaw Stadium
Air Force’s Elite Running Game
The Air Force Falcons are rushing the ball for 336.8 yards per game. They’ve gained 419.1 yards per game, with 82.4 yards coming in the air.
The run game is simply elite. As I shared earlier, the Falcons run a triple-option that is hard to stop. They’re led by Brad Roberts, who has 13 touchdowns on 174 attempts. He’s already reached 943 yards and is gaining 5.4 yards per carry-on the year. There’s a high chance he will get to the 1,000 mark in this game.
At quarterback, Haaziq Daniels rarely throws the football. However, he’s protected the football when he’s thrown. He’s added four touchdowns on 80 attempts.
Army’s defense has allowed 212.4 yards per game on the ground. This isn’t just against triple-option teams, but again every type of offense. They’ve missed plenty of tackles and have struggled in the run game. Also, Army's been better in coverage, but that won’t matter against an Air Force team that has gained under 100 yards in the passing game per game.
Can Army’s Offense Keep Up?
The Army Black Knights are scoring 32.7 points per game. That’s more than Air Force’s 30.9 points per game. The difference is that Air Force has allowed just 291.1 yards on defense, while Army has allowed over 400 yards with nearly 30 points per game allowed.
At this time, Jemel Jones has taken over as quarterback. He has a QBR of 85.3, but he’s only completed 6 passes all season long. In Army’s win against Colgate a couple of weeks ago, the Black Knights didn’t have one completion.
Like Air Force, Army has earned 334.6 yards per game on the ground and under 100 yards in the air per game. The offense is comparable to Air Force, but the offensive line and playmakers on the Falcons are better analytically.
Army has scored 90 points combined in back-to-back weeks, but against quality opponents, like Wake Forest and Georgia State, they’ve scored 14 points or fewer. The run defense for Air Force has held teams to under 130 yards per game, which is much better than Army’s 212.4 yards per game defensively against the run.
Prediction and Pick
Air Force is the much better offense in this matchup. However, it takes 2 teams to help hit the Over. Army’s offense won’t have it easy against Air Force up front. Both teams will rush the ball a ton and let the clock tick down.
The game will move quickly without many incompletions, with time only stopping for punts and potential touchdowns. Therefore, I will rock with the Under 40.5 in this matchup.
As I suggested earlier, Army’s offense hasn’t performed against higher-tier defenses this year. They’ve ganged up on UL Monroe, Colgate, and Villanova and struggled against Wake Forest and Georgia State. Meanwhile, Air Force could only score 14 points against Boise State 2 weeks ago and only scored 13 points in their game against Navy. Navy’s brand of football is very comparable to Army’s.
Army will play Navy later this month in their annual showdown, but in the first triple-option match-up of the year, Air Force beat Navy, 13-10. That’s how I’d expect this game to go down.
Again, I’m on the Under 40.5.
Score Prediction: Air Force 17 - Army 10
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.