College Football Bowl Betting Guide: Armed Forces Bowl (Baylor vs. Air Force)
The Baylor Bears were ranked in the AP Poll at one point this campaign, but they stumbled to three straight losses to end their season. Now, they're tasked with a tricky test. The Air Force Falcons had another solid season using their tried-and-true formula.
How should you bet the Armed Forces Bowl on Thursday?
Note: All college football odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. Please check numberFire's model to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Air Force +4.5 (-114) - 1.0 Unit
Under 44.5 (-110) - 1.0 Unit
Baylor will have to buck a recent trend in this bowl to cover. With this bowl largely designed for service academies, those schools are 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last six appearances.
In addition to that, Air Force will be a tough out. The Falcons played just one Power 5 team this year, and they dismantled Colorado 42-10. Plus, they played their best conference foe, Boise State, to a five-point loss at home earlier this year.
Defensively, Air Force is a top-35 squad in FBS in yards per attempt (YPA) allowed both through the air and on the ground. Without much need to look at passing stats for the Bears' defense, Baylor was 40th in rushing YPA allowed. They will be tasked with defending fullback Brad Roberts and a Falcons rushing attack that led all of FBS in yards per game (312.1), and Air Force was an efficient 20th in YPA (5.2).
The Bears just don't have the same clear identity on offense. They were 53rd in Rushing YPA and 62nd in Passing YPA. That lack of identity led to a 2-5 ATS record against bowl teams this year.
There's a "Pros vs. Joes" betting split on this game, and it mirrors some of these concepts we're talking about. On the spread, just 29% of the bets are on the Air Force side, but 67% of the handle is on the Falcons to cover. That's more than justifiable given Baylor's struggles with quality teams this year.
Plus, with two top-half defenses in the fold, 86% of the money is on the under here despite it getting just 46% of tickets. The sharp side looks to be backing the Falcons in a close, low-scoring contest.