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Tuesday is absolutely loaded with bowl games. Five as of this post being written (thanks, covid). There is one game that is a fantastic clash of styles and dynamic offenses and it is in the First Responder Bowl. Louisville and Air Force have made me a lot of money this season and the fact they are matching up together leads me to be giddy with the possibility of cashing big. Let’s hammer it out.
First and foremost, I like points today. I am taking the over 54. This afternoon’s game will be a score fest. Breaking this down starts with the idea of history being the best predictor of today and it tells us that Air Force in the postseason gets and gives a ton. Under Troy Calhoun, the Falcons have made ten other bowl games and they average a total number of 62.9 points in each. In fact, five of the 10 have scored over 66 including a 78-pointer, an 83-pointer and a 91-pointer. Only three of those have scored under 54 points and only once would we have not had the ability to sweat it late, meaning if it’s not been over, it’s been close.
Scott Satterfield has averaged just a smidge less in his four bowl games coached. Louisville’s head coach has been in bowl games that average 54.8 points per contest (and one of those was a 34-0 win over Toledo, which kills our average). Satterfield’s games have gone over 54 in 3 of his four games while Calhoun has gone over 54 in 7 of his ten postseason games. That’s trendy history, what about this season?
While still focusing on our number of 54, Louisville is over that in 2 of their last three games. I focus on the most recent month because for me, bowl games are about hot teams and motivation. Continuing the hot team argument, Air Force, which averages 340.1 yards per game on the ground (BY FAR THE MOST), they are still hot-to-trot scoring, going over the 54 in each of their last three games. In fact, they ran for 511 yards in their last game against UNLV and still went over their total (49.5) and what would be our 54 by totaling 62.
Adding onto those numbers, I really like Malik Cunningham’s athleticism for Louisville in this game too. He is so good thru the air AND on the ground and he gets a lot of that work early in games with a third of his rushing yards coming in the opening quarter and eight of his 19 touchdowns on the ground coming in the opening stanza. Air Force is a stingy defense but they have not seen a playmaker like Cunningham that’ll stress their defense enough to put up some points.
Finally, being fair, Louisville isn’t a very strong rush defense. They are 77th in the nation, allowing 157.1 per game but it’s at 202 per game in the last month. Air Force will stress Louisville in a major way. This game will be a lot of fun to watch because they will give us a lot of points and a lot of explosive plays. Playing the over 54.