Betting preview for Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Baylor vs. Air Force


Previewing the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Baylor vs. Air Force

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This is the preview for the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Air Force vs. Baylor (-5.5, 47.5) 

Date: Thursday, Dec. 22, 7:30  p.m. ET

Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, Texas)

Betting splits: 48% of handle, 71% of bets on Baylor -5.5

Service academies have been outstanding teams to bet on during the bowl season, and we’ve already seen quite a bit of love for Air Force against Baylor. This will be a weird sensation for Baylor, as the Bears play in rival TCU’s home stadium for the Armed Forces Bowl, but it will be even stranger going up against the triple-option. Teams in the Big 12 generally aren’t known for their rushing prowess and certainly not the scheme that the Falcons bring to Fort Worth.

Air Force racked up 735 rushing attempts over 12 games, the most in college football by 27 over Navy and 87 over Army. Baylor also likes to run the ball as one of 23 teams with over 500 rushing attempts. The Bears averaged 4.58 yards per carry, while the Falcons managed 5.4 with their unique offensive attack.

Baylor finished 6-6 due to an underwhelming season from the defense. Head coach Dave Aranda fired his defensive coordinator, and it can’t hurt that he has more input and emphasis on that side of the ball for the bowl game. However, as I previously teased, you can make some good money backing the military teams in bowl season. Service academies are 13-3 ATS over the last 10 years and 5-1 as an underdog with three outright upset wins. Air Force is in that underdog role here.

There is a huge strength of schedule discrepancy, as you would expect, as Baylor played the 15th-ranked schedule and Air Force faced the 119th. It hasn’t mattered in bowl season to this point for the military teams because they are always focused and disciplined in the prep period. We’ll see if Baylor does the same. After consecutive Sugar Bowl appearances around a 2-7 COVID year, will the Bears be fired up enough for the Armed Forces Bowl? We know Air Force will be. —Adam Burke

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