Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Air Force -3 -105 over UNLV
Falcon Stadium – Colorado Springs, CO
Streaming: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
3:30 PM EST. Buying low and selling high is a practice we preach vehemently. This match-up typifies that concept. To begin, we have the Air Force Academy. Only two weeks ago Air Force was sitting undefeated with a #17 ranking and staring at a New Year’s Six Bowl and Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy straight in the face. The United States Armed Forces Academy of West Point had other ideas. As an 18-point underdog, the Black Knights would stage a spectacular upset of the Falcons that was nothing short of historic and utterly humiliating, as Air Force would turn the ball over six times and lose by 20. In what was anticipated to be a bounce back spot for The Force, the Falcons would hit the Islands to square off against a 3-7 Hawaii team who came into the tilt as a 20.5-point underdog. Air Force would lay yet another egg, losing 27-13 while commiting four turnovers to Hawaii’s zero. Thanks to the recent cataclysmic course of events, Air Force’s stock has disappeared off the face of the Earth in just two weeks, which presents us with this massive opportunity.
By contrast, UNLV comes into this affair sporting a matching 8-2 record but their résumé looks far more palatable by market comparison. UNLV’s two losses include a defeat at the hands of one of the best teams in the country, Michigan, in the Big House (which is considered an honor to lose) and at Fresno State who also stands 8-2 and is difficult to beat in their own backyard. Against Fresno State, UNLV led by 10 at half-time and ended up losing by a touchdown. At Michigan, UNLV was a 38½-point pup and was never in danger of not covering in a 35-7 defeat that many suspected the Wolverines would drop 50 on the Rebels. When we hold up UNLV’s losses to Air Force’s losses with respect to the “style” and “flavor” of the defeats, the Rebels will garner more curb appeal. Now factor in that UNLV has been a broken slot machine by going 9-1 against the number on the year, the penchant to ride the Rebels is that much greater. Additionally, there is also a “feel-good” sentiment to this story, as UNLV despite years previous spent in the doldrums can all but clinch a berth to the Mountain West Championship Game with a win here so it sets up the perhaps the most lame angle of them all -- the “must win angle”. That, too, is a bankroll killer.
In summary, the Rebels are susceptible to a correction to the bad while Air Force’s deflated stock would render the Falcons to be priced at an affable wage since no one wants anything to do with them at this point. Air Force is spotting deflated points while UNLV will be taking back deflated points. Expunging further, the bookmakers hung a notoriously favorite-friendly number next to Air Force’s name which immediately grabbed our attention (they opened at -3½). Despite the recent woes that Air Force has suffered, the authors of the line expect a different Falcons team to take the field here and we trust we are getting them in a supreme underlay. That is the recipe for value.
Air Force -3 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)