First Responder Bowl: Air Force vs Louisville - 12/28/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Louisville Cardinals will play the Air Force Falcons in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on Tuesday afternoon.

The Louisville Cardinals are 6-6 this season and finished the season winning two of their last three games. Louisville finished conference play with a record of 4-4 and finished tied for fourth in the ACC Atlantic Division. Louisville has wins against Eastern Kentucky, UCF, Florida State, Boston College, Syracuse, and Duke and losses against Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Virginia, NC State, Clemson, and Kentucky this season. Louisville is averaging 31.9 points per game and is giving up 27 points per game against, while also averaging 238.9 passing yards per game and 211.3 rushing yards per game. Malik Cunningham has completed 62% of his passes for 2,734 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions for the Cardinals. Cunningham has also rushed for 968 yards and 19 touchdowns, while Jalen Mitchell has rushed for 722 yards and 5 touchdowns for Louisville. Marshon Ford was the leading receiver for Louisville this season with 47 catches for 530 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

The Air Force Falcons are 9-3 this season and have won their last three games in a row. Air Force finished tied for 1st place in the MWC Mountain Division with a conference record of 6-2. Air Force has wins against Lafayette, Navy, Florida Atlantic, New Mexico, Wyoming, Boise State, Colorado State, Nevada, and UNLV, while having losses against Utah State, San Diego State, and Army. Air Force is averaging 30.8 points per game and is giving up 19.1 points per game against, while also averaging 82.5 passing yards per game and 341.4 rushing yards per game. Air Force averaged the most rushing yards per game in the country this season. Haaziq Daniels (Questionable) has completed 45.7% of his passes for 932 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions for the Falcons. Daniels added 705 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns, while Brad Roberts had 1,279 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Brandon Lewis has caught 16 passes for 447 yards and 1 score for Air Force. 

Air Force is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on field turf. The under is 17-7 in Air Force’s last 24 games. Louisville is 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games against the Mountain West and 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 non-conference games. The under is 5-1 in Louisville’s last 6 bowl games. 

This should be a very entertaining game to watch with two different offensive strategies. Malik Cunningham is one of the most electric players in the nation, but will be facing a defense that is only allowing 19.1 points per game. The Louisville defense is going to have issues with the rushing attack that the Falcons have, which should lead to some long drives. Air Force played in a couple of shootouts this season and I think that will happen here as well. Air Force should move the ball easily and Louisville should move with a quick pace on offense. I like the over here. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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