The Air Force Falcons seek their second consecutive 10-win season Thursday when they meet the Baylor Bears in the 2022 Armed Forces Bowl. The Falcons (9-3) won four straight to finish the regular season and, with a win in the Armed Forces Bowl, can seal their fifth season with double-digit victories since 2014. The erratic Bears (6-6) managed upsets of Oklahoma and Iowa State but still need an Armed Forces bowl victory to avoid a losing season in their third season under coach Dave Aranda, who was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year last season.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. The Bears are 3.5-point betting favorites and the over/under for total points scored is 43.5 in the latest Baylor vs. Air Force odds. Before making any Air Force vs. Baylor picks, you need to see the college football predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past six-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of almost $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Baylor vs. Air Force and just locked in its picks and Armed Forces Bowl 2022 predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several college football odds and trends for Air Force vs. Baylor:
- Baylor vs. Air Force spread: Baylor -3.5
- Baylor vs. Air Force over/under: 43.5 points
- Baylor vs. Air Force money line: Baylor -165, Air Force +140
- BU: The Bears are 4-1 against the spread in their past five bowl games.
- AFA: The Falcons are 20-8 ATS in their past 28 non conference games.
- Baylor vs. Air Force picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Baylor can cover
Immediately following the regular season, Aranda dismissed defensive coordinator Ron Roberts after an inability to get key stops cost the Bears in pretty much all their losses. Roberts has since landed the same job at Auburn. Needing to fill the vacancy on short notice against an Air Force club that is extremely difficult to prepare for, Aranda called on the most qualified candidate he could find to fill the role -- himself.
The last time Aranda worked as a defensive coordinator, he was on the sidelines for LSU as the Tigers completed one of the most historic seasons in college football history. They beat Clemson 42-25 in the national title game to finish 15-0 and Aranda, the architect of the defense, became one of the hottest head-coaching prospects in the country. Aranda, who also gained recognition for his work as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, had turned down numerous head-coaching offers before eventually parting LSU for Baylor. In preparing for Air Force, Aranda said the formula for success lies in a commitment to unwavering discipline.
"It's a math game, it's 11-on-11, but we have to make sure we've got the bounce numbers and the correct leverages. For our players, we have to inspire them to the point where they can execute the mundane, play after play, after play," Aranda said.
Why Air Force can cover
One major advantage that Air Force has in bowl preparation is that, unlike most other programs, the Falcons don't have to deal with the chaotic blender of coaching changes, the transfer portal and NIL deals that have drastically changed the college sports landscape in the past few years. Players can transfer out of military academies but rarely do because of their military commitments, and Air Force currently has no players in the transfer portal for next season. Also, military academy athletes are forbidden by federal law to receive NIL deals because they are officially classified as federal government employees.
Moreover, service academies tend to have extremely low turnover with their coaches because it's difficult to find and retain candidates who understand the challenges of the programs. Air Force coach Troy Calhoun entered this season as the sixth-longest tenured coach in the FBS. He has been with the Falcons since 2007 and two years ago received a contract extension through 2025 after Colorado pursued him for its opening. The deal included significant pay bumps for his assistant coaches and other staff, and Calhoun said at the time he hoped those deals would bring enhanced stability to the program.
How to make Air Force vs. Baylor picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 51 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60% of simulations. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Baylor vs. Air Force? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college football picks, and find out.