The Air Force Falcons will try to put last week behind them when they visit Hawaii on Saturday. Air Force is favored by 19, with a total of 48.5. The No. 25 Falcons saw their undefeated NCAAF season come to an end. Air Force also had the chance to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy outright. Now, the best it can do is hope Navy beats Army to make a three-way tie. Hawaii is coming off a rare victory. But the Rainbow Warriors are still in a last-place tie in the Mountain West. The Air Force vs Hawaii free pick will look at both college football teams and give the best value play on the college football ‘Bailout Special.’
Day/Time:Saturday, November 11, 11:00 p.m. ET
Location: Clarence T. C. Ching Athletics Complex, Honolulu, Hawaii
Falcons Off Worse Game of the Season
The Air Force Falcons have only themselves to blame for last week’s 23-3 loss to Army. The total yards were basically even. But the Falcons committed six turnovers in the NCAAF game, allowing Army to jump out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead, and never recovered. The Falcons aren’t designed to come back from a deficit.
For the season, Air Force is averaging 285.7 yards on the ground and 5.2 yards per carry. The Falcons’ foes are allowing 4.9 yards per carry on average, so Air Force isn’t that much better than average. But they run a lot more than most NCAAF teams. The Falcons don’t throw much, but have been effective when they do, averaging 11.8 yards per pass attempt.
Air Force just maintained its spot in the NCAAF rankings, falling from No. 17 to No. 25 after the upset loss to Army. The Falcons have been solid defensively, allowing just 14.4 points per game. Air Force allows just 2.8 yards per rush and 157.4 passing yards. The Falcons’ foes are averaging 188.1 passing yards per game. So it isn’t a case of Air Force shutting down a lot of pass-happy offenses.
Air Force is 5-4 against the NCAAF odds this season and 4-5 in totals. The Falcons have been favored in every game this season, and this will be the second-highest spread they’ve played to this year.
Turnovers Have Been Hawaii’s Biggest Problem
The Rainbow Warriors enter the game with a turnover margin of -14. A deficit that big not only keeps points off the scoreboard, but puts opponents’ points on the board. Hawaii’s defense is nothing to get excited about, but it takes a toll when the offense keeps giving the ball away.
The Rainbow Warriors are averaging 21.5 points per game and it isn’t due to their rushing game. Hawaii averages 65.2 yards per game and a 2.8 yard per carry average. The Warriors are a better passing team, throwing for 279.3 yards per game. Hawaii would have better rushing stats if not for the 34 sacks allowed against quarterback Brayden Schager. Schager has thrown for 22 touchdowns and has been picked off 12 times.
Hawaii isn’t particularly good against the run or the pass defensively. But they’ll just need to worry about the run in this one. The Warriors allow 4.7 yards per carry to teams that average 4.5. So it’s safe to say the Falcons will be running the ball often.
What to Expect
The Air Force vs Hawaii free pick is based upon the Falcons running the ball. A lot. There’s no need for the Falcons to throw more than a couple of passes in this game. If the ground game is working, why take any chances. Air Force just needs to worry about gaining four or five yards a crack, and things will take care of themselves.
Hawaii doesn’t run well. Air Force is solid against the run, so it makes sense for the Rainbow Warriors to throw the ball nearly every down. Air Force hasn’t played many good passing teams this season and could have some trouble against the Rainbow Warrior receivers. The Falcons don’t really have anybody who can throw the ball as well as Schager in practice.
Who to Bet On?
The Air Force vs Hawaii free pick is based on the current numbers of Air Force -19 and 48.5 on the total. It’s tough to tell what type of mindset the Falcons are going to be in after a terrible loss to Army. The Falcons are just 32-44-1 ATS after a loss under coach Troy Calhoun.
The teams haven’t played since 2019, so the Rainbow Warriors haven’t practiced playing the option every year. That doesn’t help, but Hawaii was going to struggle a bit against the run in this game. You have to think Hawaii’s passing game can get the Warriors a couple of scores in this one. So for your NCAA football picks free, take the over 48.5 in this game.