Before we begin...
Bonus points if you can name this Navy slotback scoring a touchdown against Tulane in 2003. Leave your guess in the comment section below.
Air Force (86.1% win probability per ESPN FPI)
Air Force can no longer make a bowl game but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to play for on Thanksgiving afternoon. The Falcons will host MWC rival Colorado State this Thursday in what will be the Class of 2019’s final game of their career. Troy Calhoun’s squad is 6-4-1 ATS this season and are 2-0 ATS as double digit favorites. Colorado State is just 4-7 ATS, yet the Rams are coming off their most impressive cover of the season in a 29-24 loss at home against Utah State this past Saturday. That success has been a bit of an anomaly as CSU failed to cover the spread in its previous three contests. With limited time to prepare for the Falcon option offense and heading on the road for the holidays, I see Air Force covering the large spread by getting a comfortable win in Colorado Springs.
The O/U is a little more challenging to predict in this matchup as the game is currently sitting at 62, the second highest O/U total for the Falcons this season. For Colorado State on the other hand, 62 points sits at about an average total for Rams’ games this season. Due to the short week I expect both teams to score - don’t have a great reason for you, it’s just a hunch.
Air Force (-14.5) - Moderate Risk (only because I could see Air Force winning by 14)
Over (62) - Moderate Risk
Pick - Air Force 41 Colorado State 24
Navy (23.7% win probability per ESPN FPI)
While Navy and Tulane are technically battling it out for the prestigious Trident Trophy, the Green Wave will be looking for a win to also earn bowl eligibility this season. Neither team is sitting above .500 ATS but Navy has covered in three of their last four contests while Tulane has only covered twice in their last six games. Most noticeably, Tulane is only 1-3 ATS as a favorite against FBS competition. Call me crazy, but I think Navy is primed to not only cover, but also pull out the straight upset ruining Tulane’s chances of reaching a bowl game in December.
Tulane’s last three wins were against Tulsa (a team Navy beat), ECU and USF (two teams that Navy did not play this season). Aside from that, the Green Wave have losses against Houston, SMU, and Cincinnati and a win over Memphis; results that mirror Navy’s 2018 season. You want another stat to show how this game should be closer to a pick’em? Well, Navy is the least penalized team in the AAC while Tulane comes in at 115th in the country giving up an average of over 70 penalty yards per game (okay, maybe that’s really not that big of a deal). With the Navy offense looking better and better each week with Zach Abey back under center, why not pick the upset in a relatively low scoring affair that sneaks just north of the over.
Navy (+7) - Moderate Risk
Under (53.5) - Moderate Risk
*Upset Pick* - Navy 28 Tulane 27
*this article was edited to account for Frank Divis’ actual position and correctly identifying Tulane as not Tulsa in the upset pick...