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

Year Bowl Team1 Score Team2 Score Team2 Line ATS win
1995 Insight Bowl Texas Tech 55 Air Force 41 4 TXTECH
1997 Las Vegas Bowl Oregon 41 Air Force 13 3 OREG
1998 WAC Championship BYU 13 Air Force 20 -2.5 AIRFOR
1998 Oahu Bowl Air Force 45 Washington 25 3.5 AIRFOR
2000 Silican Valley Bowl Air Force 37 Fresno State 34 -1 AIRFOR
2002 Emerald Bowl Air Force 13 Virginia Tech 20 -11 AIRFOR
2007 Armed Forces Bowl Air Force 36 California 42 -4.5 CAL
2008 Armed Forces Bowl Air Force 28 Houston 34 -5.5 HOUSTO
2009 Armed Forces Bowl Air Force 47 Houston 20 -4.5 AIRFOR
2010 Independence Bowl Georgia Tech 7 Air Force 14 -3 AIRFOR
2011 Military Bowl Toledo 42 Air Force 41 3 AIRFOR

Rice Bowl History

Year Bowl Team1 Score Team2 Score Team2 Line ATS win
2006 New Orleans Bowl Troy 41 Rice 17 -5.5 TROY
2008 Texas Bowl Western Michigan 14 Rice 38 -2 RICE

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