Armed Forces Bowl betting preview

In a match-up of two 6-6 bird teams Air Force takes on Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl Saturday, Dec. 29 in Fort Worth (11:45 am ET, ESPN).

The early Armed Forces Bowl betting odds were listing the Falcons, who went 5-3 in the Mountain West this season, as one-point favorites over the Owls, who had to win their last four games just to become bowl-eligible.

Underdogs have covered the past 4 Armed Forces Bowls and Air Force has been a profitable 7-2 ATS in its past nine bowl games. [ More Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl betting stats, previews and trends ]

View Air Force vs Rice Odds and Stats.

Betting Line: The Falcons were listed as 1.5-point favorites on the opening NCAA football line at 5Dimes and most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark. The total was 61 in earlt betting, watch for the latest lines at


Air Force Bowl History

YearBowlTeam1ScoreTeam2ScoreTeam2 LineATS win
1995Insight BowlTexas Tech55Air Force414TXTECH
1997Las Vegas BowlOregon41Air Force133OREG
1998WAC ChampionshipBYU13Air Force20-2.5AIRFOR
1998Oahu BowlAir Force45Washington253.5AIRFOR
2000Silican Valley BowlAir Force37Fresno State34-1AIRFOR
2002Emerald BowlAir Force13Virginia Tech20-11AIRFOR
2007Armed Forces BowlAir Force36California42-4.5CAL
2008Armed Forces BowlAir Force28Houston34-5.5HOUSTO
2009Armed Forces BowlAir Force47Houston20-4.5AIRFOR
2010Independence BowlGeorgia Tech7Air Force14-3AIRFOR
2011Military BowlToledo42Air Force413AIRFOR

Rice Bowl History

YearBowlTeam1ScoreTeam2ScoreTeam2 LineATS win
2006New Orleans BowlTroy41Rice17-5.5TROY
2008Texas BowlWestern Michigan14Rice38-2RICE

How They Match Up:
The game also pits Rice's No. 41-ranked offense, averaging 31.8 PPG, against a Falcons defense that ranks No. 69 this week at 28.7 PPG. The Owls aerial game is averaging 219.8 yards per game, more than the Falcons secondary allows through the air, 204.1 YPG per game.

Defensively, the Falcons feature the league's No. 98-rated road run defense, allowing 213.5 yards per game. Rice, meanwhile, ranks No. 44 in rushing offense at home.

Air Force was a 48-15 loser in their most recent outing on the road against Fresno State. They failed to cover the 16.5-point spread as underdogs, while the total score (63) made winners of OVER bettors. Air Force didn’t make much of a game of it last time out, losing to the Bulldogs as Fresno State blasted them 48-15 in Week 13 action.

Rice won its last outing, a 33-24 result against Texas El Paso on November 24. Rice covered in that game as a 1-point underdog, while the 57 combined points took the game OVER the total. Last time we saw the Miners, they had no answer for Charles Ross as the Owls rolled to a 33-24 victory at Sun Bowl.

Air Force Falcons Trends:
When playing in December are 5-5
When playing on grass are 2-8
After being outgained are 5-5
When favored on the road are 7-3

Rice Owls Trends:
When playing in December are 1-2
When playing on grass are 1-9
After outgaining opponent are 4-6
When an underdog at home are 6-4

A few Falcons at Owls trends to consider:
Air Force is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games
Rice is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games