Air Force Falcons vs. San Diego State Aztecs Point Spread – Pick

Air Force Falcons (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Friday, October 12, 2018 at 9PM EST
Where: SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, California
TV: CBS Sports

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: AFA +10/SDSU -10
Over/Under Total: 44

In Mountain West Conference action, the Air Force Falcons take on the San Diego Aztecs. It’s a nice Friday game, one which bettors can sink their teeth in an effort to get the week off to a good start in college football. San Diego is a decent favorite, based on four straight wins since losing in week one at Stanford. Air Force, though, looked pretty darned good last week in a massive beating of Navy, where they looked upgraded on both sides of the ball. Who can get the win and cover in San Diego on Friday?

Air Force had fallen on hard times. Personnel issues and some key failings at critical moments in games had them on a three-game skid. And while they weren’t being embarrassed, they didn’t look their typical selves and weren’t getting the results. But with quarterback DJ Hammond, a promising sophomore, getting his first start, the whole team seemed to be given renewed energy and they really proliferated on both sides of the ball on Saturday in a 35-7 hammering of the Midshipmen. Watching them last week, they seem to be a team that would be in good shape getting a lot of points in this spot.

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You have to hand it to San Diego State for this 4-game winning streak. Even if you were inclined to give them a pass for a rancid week one loss to a Stanford team they beat last season, injuries loomed large. Losing QB Chase Chapman and then RB Juwan Washington was a bad blow. And with their offense very reliant on the run game, one wondered if they could summon some more useful backs, with two recent ones in the NFL. And while not having Washington for the time being will hurt, they showed that there are indeed still X-factors in the backfield. And a defense that started showing its fangs last season might be even better this season.

On Saturday, the Aztecs were almost two touchdown dogs on the road to Boise State, winning outright. On offense, Ryan Agnew has been good behind center, running the offense fairly-smoothly. Chase Jasmin has shown some lively legs and we saw freshman Jordan Byrd flash some crazy speed on Saturday in the big win. Apparently, San Diego State has become a popular landing spot for fast west coast backs, with speed being ample on this roster. It’s a byproduct of success.

The San Diego State Aztecs defense is also a big part of the recent winning equation. Against Boise, an offense that usually makes it happen at home in conference games, the Aztecs were rigid, while also making plays. They picked off Boise QB Brett Rypien twice in the first half and got to him four times for sacks. Linebacker Ronley Lakakala and rising young DB Darren Hall have been making a lot of plays. All of their last four opponents have scored between 14 and 21 points. More often than not, that’s going to be enough.

Let’s face it, though, San Diego State isn’t always prepared to thrive in this role. The two times they covered the spread this season are the best times to pounce—when not a ton is expected. When they’re sizable favorites, they often underperform. They’re a team that relies a lot on the run and their defense. The QB is in there as more of a manager of offense than a source of explosiveness. They’re not necessarily built to put distance between themselves and opponents.

One doesn’t want to go too haywire reading into Air Force’s win over Navy, but it’d be foolhardy to not at least acknowledge some difference. And it’s not like they needed that big of a boost, having come close in their three straight losses leading up to the win last week. Hammond appeared to bring more out of the offense, which seemed to filter down to the other side of the ball. Hammond got in the end zone three times with his legs, while he connected aerially with Geraud Sanders and Ronald Cleveland. Running back Joseph Saucier was productive and looms as a dangerous weapon in this game.

The Air Force defensive performance against Navy was also promising. Navy had been averaging 36 points a game and managed just 7 against Air Force, with a paltry 129 total yards of offense. They were rushing the passer and continued to do the one thing they’ve done well this season and that’s their run-resistance. Granted, they will be seeing a level of talent beyond what they’ve been seeing, but with the point spread, some big plays on this side could really go a long way.

Granted, the explanation seems simplistic. San Diego State isn’t putting up a ton of points this season. Air Force looked a lot better last week and is pretty good against the run. San Diego State typically thrives more when less is expected, as a recipe for them to cover as larger favorites is more-wrought with potential issues. But despite the obviousness of some of this, I still see Air Force having enough mettle to stay in this with the Aztecs and emerge with the cover on Friday.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Air Force Falcons plus 10 points. Did you know… that you could be wagering on the Air Force vs. San Diego State Friday game at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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