Deflated Air Force Football Team A Narrow Fave At ‘Consistently Inconsistent’ Colorado State

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When last we checked in with Air Force and Colorado State, the season brimmed with possibility for each Centennial State football team heading into their respective matchups against perennial Mountain West powerhouse Boise State. One squad — Air Force — got the better of the Broncos, and responded by dumping a pair of single-score heartbreakers to San Diego State and arch-rival Army.

Colorado State has fared even worse, losing by nine to Boise before being beaten 31-17 in a border-war game with Wyoming. Adding injury to insult in a loss to the Cowboys that CSU’s star tight end Trey McBride called “devastating,” the Rams lost three key linebackers, who may or may not be good to go for the team’s home matchup this Saturday night against — wait for it — Air Force.

The question is: Which of the two teams is more dejected coming off a disappointing loss in a rivalry game? The answer, says Jay Kornegay, is the Falcons.

“I’m not sure what’s more important to Air Force, beating Army or winning the Mountain Division,” wondered Kornegay, executive vice president of sportsbook operations for the SuperBook. “They were in a very emotional, tight game where they wound up on the short end. That’s an advantage for CSU — they’re catching Air Force in the right spot. That is always tough to overcome, and now you’ve got to go up north and lay points on the road. That’s a tough challenge.”

Indeed, as of Thursday afternoon, 6-3 Air Force was laying 2.5 points on the road at most major sportsbooks against the 3-6 Rams, with only WynnBET favoring the Falcons by 3.

As for how that line has moved throughout the week, on Wednesday Kornegay told US Bets, “For us, it’s been stable [at 2.5], but I’ve seen 2.5s and 3s over the last few days. Now it’s a steady 2.5. Those 3s disappeared yesterday.”

Air Force lived up to its name, for once

Air Force’s overtime loss to Army was an odd game in that both run-heavy military academies opted to throw the ball a lot more than usual. To wit, Falcon quarterback Haaziq Daniels’ 226 yards were more than he’d thrown for in the previous four games combined. Air Force living up to its name, for once, did not result in more scoring, however: The Falcons lost 21-14 to Army, whereas they lost 20-14 to San Diego State in their previous game, when Daniels threw for just nine yards. (That’s not a typo.)

This explains the low over/under. WynnBET, PointsBet, Betfred, and the SuperBook all have the total at 45 offering -110 both ways, while BetMGM has it at 45.5 with -110 both ways. DraftKings, FanDuel, and MaximBet also have the total at 45.5, but with reduced juice on the over.

“I’m looking at the total for the CSU-Air Force game and how low it is,” said Kornegay. “That tells me there’s going to be a lot of running in this game even though Air Force kind of aired things out last week. I think that was just an anomaly.”

If you like the Rams on the moneyline, among the fattest prices you’ll get is +120 at the SuperBook, which would be an insignificant act of oddsmaking were it not for the fact that Kornegay is a CSU alum.

“With CSU, they’re just consistently inconsistent,” he said. “It’s a really difficult team to get a hold of. They’ve had some really bad losses, including this past Saturday. You can’t explain that awful loss last week. It was really a lackluster performance in a rivalry game.”

Mike Seely has written about horse racing for The Daily Racing Form and America’s Best Racing, and has contributed pieces on a multitude of topics to The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He can be reached on Twitter (@mdseely) or via email at mseely@bettercollective.com.

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