The Lane Train ran off the tracks shortly after it crossed the Mississippi River in the season opener for the Florida Atlantic Owls. Many bettors tore up their FAU tickets by halftime in a 63-14 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma. The Owls didn’t even come close to covering the CFB betting line in the loss, but they are decent favorites against the Air Force Falcons this week.
Air Force did not have any trouble against an outmatched Stony Brook team in their opener. The Falcons cruised to a 38-0 victory over their FCS foe, easily covering the NCAAF betting line in the process. However, Florida Atlantic represents a significant step up in terms of competition in Week 2 of the 2018 season.
This contest in Week 2 will go down Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 2 p.m. ET at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida.
College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu
Air Force +10
Florida Atlantic -10
Over/Under Check Back Later
Although these teams looked worlds apart in terms of their Week 1 performances, sharps have jumped on the Owls early here. Florida Atlantic was a touchdown favorite per the CFB betting odds when this spread opened on Sunday, and the Owls quickly shot up from -7 to -10. It’s hard to see the line rising much more than that though considering how poorly the defense played.
Matchup to Watch
Let’s see how much Air Force’s defense has really improved over the last year. The Falcons had one of the worst defenses in the country in 2017, ranking 118th in Bill Connelly S&P+ metric. To be fair, they only had one returning starter to a unit that was below average, but still the performance was dreadful. Air Force allowed opponents to run on them at will, allowing 5.9 yards per carry last year.
It’s hard to say just how much they improved with their performance against Stony Brook. The Seawolves are an FCS team that was subpar on offense last year, so you can’t take too much out of Air Force giving up just 75 total yards.
You will be able to take something from their performance against Florida Atlantic this week. Kiffin loves to spread defenses out and run the ball, and Devin Singletary is one of the top running backs in the nation. He was rendered meaningless early on against Oklahoma, but Singletary was still able to run for 69 yards and a score in Norman. The Falcons have more size up front than most defenses the Owls will face, yet they aren’t particularly speedy.
Player to Watch
It’s important to have a good decision maker at quarterback if you are a triple option team, and Air Force has a very good one in Arion Worthman. Worthman was one of the few bright spots on a team that finished 5-7 last year, and he looked sharp in limited action against Stony Brook in the first week of the season.
Worthman is not a great passer, and he went just 2-8 for 29 yards against Stony Brook. However, he kept moving the chains on offense and knew the right times to keep and pitch, leading the unit to 333 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. The one concern is they didn’t have much explosiveness, and that led to Troy Calhoun deciding to risk it on fourth down quite a few times. Worthman came up big here too, and the Falcons went 5-6 on fourth down.
Free ATS Pick
The Owls have a much stronger front seven than the Falcons, and they will be able to bottle up Worthman better than the Seawolves did. FAU will put Air Force in disadvantageous down and distance situations, and the Falcons will have longer distances to go on fourth down if they want to hold on to the ball. That will help FAU pick up the cover.
College Football Odds: Florida Atlantic 31, Air Force 17
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