Air Force vs


at Dallas
Tue, Dec 28
12:15 PM Pacific
Rotation: 239
Odds: Louisville -1.5, Total: 55

Game Analysis

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Strong Opinion – Under (55) – Air Force (+1.5)  26   Louisville  25

Air Force plays at a very slow pace with their option offense, averaging just 1.92 plays per minute of possession while averaging 36.7 minutes of possession in regulation. Louisville plays a slower than average pace (2.15 plays per minute) so there aren’t likely to be enough plays in this game to get these teams to 55 points (the national average is 54 points) even with the math projecting a better than average 6.2 yards per play.

Air Force is an average offensive team from a compensated yards per play perspective, averaging 6.0 yppl against teams that would allow 6.0 yppl, but they’re actually better than average because they convert a lot of 4th down plays to extend drives (31 of 40 on converting on 4th-down). The also rate a bit higher in this game because I’ve taken out their games against Army and Navy, as option teams defend options teams better than non-option teams do. The Falcons’ attack rates at +0.2 yppl when excluding the Army and Navy games.

Louisville has a decent run defense (5.4 yards per rushing play against teams that would average 5.5 yprp) and rate at 0.1 yppl better than average overall, which is a bit better than the defensive units that Air Force faced this season. The Falcons are projected to gain 408 yards at 5.9 yppl.

Louisville’s offense averaged 6.8 yppl against teams that would allow 5.6 yppl to an average team. Despite being that good offensively on a yards per play basis the Cardinals only averaged 31.9 points per game even with the 62 points outlier they scored against Duke late in the season. The 11.4 yards per play skewed their average up and has been adjusted for in my model, but I still rate the Cardinals at 1.1 yppl better than average offensively. The absence of wide-receivers Jordan Watkins and Justin Marshall is actually not that big of an issue, as those two along with Braden Smith, who has been out since week 5, have combined for 8.4 yards per target while all wide-receivers on the team have combined for 9.2 YPT.

The Air Force defense yielded just 5.1 yppl this season and rates at 0.2 yppl better than average, even after taking out their games against fellow option teams. The Falcons allowed just 17.2 points per game (in regulation) this season (18.3 ppg to non-opinion teams) mostly because they don’t let the opposing team have the ball much. The Falcons’ opponents averaged only 55 plays per game in regulation and Louisville plays at a slower pace than normal and are projected to run just 52 plays in this game. The 6.6 yards per play that I project for Louisville is expected to result in just 340 total yards, which is significantly below the 455 total yards that they’ve averaged this season and the Cardinal are projected score just 25 points in this game.

Both teams should move the ball pretty well, but the number of possessions will be much lower than in a normal game and it’s going to be hard to get to 55 points, which is a very key number, given that 4.0% of games with a total near 55 points land on 55 points. Even if the fair total on this game were 54.0 points this game would be a profitable wager. I think the true line is lower than 54 points and there is solid value on going under 55 points in a low possession game. The Under is a Strong Opinion at Under 55 -115 odds or better.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Air Force
  • Louisville


  • Run Plays 62.5 26.4
  • Run Yards 348.0 118.0
  • YPRP 5.6 4.5


  • Pass Comp 3.8 14.8
  • Pass Att 8.5 26.6
  • Comp % 45.1% 55.8%
  • Pass Yards 82.5 193.3
  • Sacks 0.8 3.0
  • Sack Yards 2.8 22.1
  • Sack % 8.1% 10.1%
  • Pass Plays 9.3 29.6
  • Net Pass Yards 79.8 171.2
  • YPPP 8.6 5.8


  • Total Plays 71.8 56.0
  • Total Yards 427.8 289.2
  • YPPL 6.0 5.2


  • Int 0.3 0.7
  • Int % 3.9% 2.5%
  • Fumbles 0.5 0.7
  • Turnovers 0.8 1.3
  • Points 31.0 19.1
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