Navy vs Air Force Betting Preview: Midshipmen Try to Ground High-Flying Falcons

Air Force to Rely on Nation's Top Rushing Attack to Overcome Navy Once Again

Option Offenses on Full Display in Air Force-Navy Showdown

If you love to see footballs flying through the air, Saturday’s Air Force and Navy matchup might not be the one for you. On the other hand, if you can’t get enough to the pageantry when service academies square off, the matchup in Colorado Springs could be right up your alley. Both teams are trying to accomplish the same thing, to control the block with the option offense. Air Force is the top rushing team in the nation 412.3 yards per game. Navy is well back at 196.7 yards and averaging only 3.2 yards per carry. It is no wonder that the Navy vs Air Force betting preview favors the host Falcons.

Among the 131 Football Bowl Subdivision programs, Navy is 129th with 35 passing attempts and Air Force 130th with 28 passes attempted. Both teams are completing just 42.9% of its passes, although six of the 27 completed passes have gone for scores as teams commit more players to stop the run.

When looking at the NCAAF Week 5 odds, this game is showing Air Force as a 14-point favorite.

Navy vs Air Force Game Information

    • Game: Navy 1-2 (1-1 in the American Athletic Conference), Air Force 3-1 (1-1 in the Mountain West)
    • Location: Falcon Stadium, Colorado Springs, Colo.
    • Day/Time:
    • Television: CBS

Navy Midshipmen

Since the NCAA began tinkering with the rules on cut blocks, the fortunes of the Navy football program have headed in the wrong direction. Be sure to check out all of this week’s NCAAF spreads, right here.

There was a seven-year stretch when the Midshipmen ranked in the top five nationally in rushing yards per game in each season culminating in Navy leading the country in 2019. It was the rule and not the exception for the Midshipmen to top 300 yards.

Navy has been held under 250 yards in each of the last five games dating back to last season. The Midshipmen finished with just 36 yards the last time they faced Air Force. With that in mind, it is understandable why the Navy vs Air Force odds favor the host Falcons.

The positive news is that Navy ranks fifth nationally with 69 rushing yards allowed per contest. There are 10 Navy players with at least 10 tackles through the first three games with John Marshall (28 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks) leading the way.

Air Force Falcons

Since the service academies recruit nationally, there aren’t an abundance of Colorado natives in starring roles for the Falcons. A notable exception is senior running back Brad Roberts.

The Arvada, Colorado native is coming off a season with 1,357 yards and 13 touchdowns. He had seven games with at least 100 rushing yards a season ago. He is on pace to top those numbers in 2022. Roberts is already at 465 yards through four games and twice has carried the ball at least 20 times.

Teams will likely start cheating to make quarterback Haaziq Daniels either keep the ball himself or get the ball to another one of the talented Air Force runners. That could be risky since John Lee Eldridge III is averaging 10.3 yards per carry. It is not surprising that the Navy vs Air Force betting preview is so heavily in the favor of the Falcons.

Navy vs Air Force Injury Update

For Air Force, receivers DeAndre Hughes and Dane Kinamon, quarterback Zac Larrier and defensive end Jayden Thiergood are questionable. Receiver Wyatt Wilson (shoulder) could return in early October.

Navy seems to be in pretty good shape physically heading into this game.

Navy vs Air Force Head to Head

Air Force has won three of the last four meetings with Navy. The Falcons have outscored the Midshipmen 63-10 in the last two matchups. In the 2021 game, Air Force rolled to a 23-3 win as six-point favorites as the Falcons held Navy to 36 rushing yards. Touchdown runs late in the second and third quarters allowed Air Force to overcome the early 3-0 deficit.

Thirteen of the last 18 games between the Midshipmen and Falcons have finished under the total.

Navy vs Air Force Betting Preview

It would a good idea to avoid a defensive coordinator the week that they have to face one of the few remaining triple option teams in major college football. However, since Army, Air Force and Navy run that offense, their defenses should be well schooled on the keys to read when the ball in snapped.

Air Force is certainly running the offense more effectively than Navy in the early part of this season, although the Falcons allow more yards on the ground than Navy does.

The 14-point line in favor of Air Force is an indication of where the teams are at the current time.
Air Force has covered in seven of its last eight games as well as in six of the last seven contests at home.
The total has gone over in seven of the Falcons’ last eight games, but it has finished under in eight of Navy’s last 11 games.

The Midshipmen have covered against the college football betting lines in nine of the last 13 games. However, staying within two touchdowns of Air Force could be a challenge.

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