New Mexico vs. UTEP Odds, Picks Predictions: The Bet to Make for This Saturday Night Matchup (September 25)

New Mexico vs. UTEP Odds, Picks Predictions: The Bet to Make for This Saturday Night Matchup (September 25) article feature image
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Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images. Pictured: A New Mexico helmet.

New Mexico vs. UTEP Odds

New Mexico Odds -2.5 (-110)
UTEP Odds +2.5 (-110)
Moneyline -120 / -100
Over/Under 53 (-120 / +100)
Time 9:00 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Finally, the game that everyone has had marked on the calendar for months is upon us — New Mexico versus UTEP.

According to Collin Wilson’s Power Ratings, this matchup includes the 115th New Mexico Lobos against the 120th-ranked UTEP Miners. The old rivalry will be renewed between the two former conference mates at the Sun Bowl.

Danny Gonzales enters his second season at New Mexico after starting out the 2020 season 0-5 before upsetting Wyoming and Fresno State in the final two weeks.

New Mexico was forced to play all seven of its games on the road last season and has won both of its games at home to start this season.

UTEP opened last season at 3-1 before COVID-19 interruptions sidetracked the season, spiraling the Miners into losing their next four. The Miners won their first two games of the 2021 season over New Mexico State and Bethune-Cookman before getting crushed by Boise State, 54-13.

UTEP is coming off a bye week, which it hopes will help them in preparation for this coin-toss matchup.


New Mexico vs. UTEP Betting Preview

Saturday, Sept. 25
9:00 p.m. ET
ESPN+

New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico Offense

Terry Wilson — who started 25 games for Kentucky — has emerged as the starting quarterback for New Mexico. He’s been mediocre this season, throwing six touchdowns and one interception.

He’s averaged just 6.7 yards per pass attempt and has the Lobos’ offense sitting at 116th in Pass Success Rate.

The Lobos run the ball 58% of the time but average just 3.3 yards per carry on their 118 attempts this season. They’ve lacked the ability to produce explosive plays — ranking 116th — and can’t finish drives inside the 40-yard line, where they rank 123rd in the country.

Overall, they’re averaging just 17 points per game and 4.6 yards per play.


New Mexico Defense

Rocky Long returns to New Mexico as the defensive coordinator and now enters year two in attempting to rebuild the Lobos’ defense to his 3-3-5 defensive scheme.

The Lobos were solid in their first two games, holding opponents to an average of 50 yards rushing and 166 yards through the air.

Last week, they were physically outmatched by Texas A&M, but they weren’t horrible. They held the Aggies to 4.5 yards per carry and managed to hold them to a 43% third-down conversion rate.

The 3-3-5 is meant to limit big plays and provide pressure on opposing quarterbacks. So far, this defensive unit is 14th in Defensive Pass Rush and 50th in limiting big plays.

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UTEP Miners

UTEP Offense

The Miners’ offense runs the ball on 66% of the plays but ranks 125th in Rushing Success Rate. The Miners average a measly 3.7 yards per carry, yet average 41 carries per game behind one of the slowest tempos in the country.

The offense is anticipated to get redshirt freshman running back Deion Hankins back after injuring his shoulder in Week 1.

In the few instances that UTEP does pass the ball, they’ve seen strong success. Quarterback Gavin Hardison has averaged 10.5 yards per pass attempt, but the issue is he has only 63 passes the entire season.

The run-heavy scheme has taken away the ability for Big Plays and the Miners’ offense sits at 90th in Havoc allowed.


UTEP Defense

The defensive line is the strength of this UTEP unit as it has allowed only 3.4 yards per carry. The front seven has already contributed 18 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles.

The secondary is where things get dicey for this defense. They’ve allowed 8.1 yards per pass attempt and were shredded by Boise State last week.

The Miners rank dead last in terms of coverage, according to PFF. Luckily for them, New Mexico hasn’t been great passing the football and has been reliant on the rushing attack.


New Mexico vs. UTEP Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how New Mexico and UTEP match up statistically:

New Mexico Offense vs. UTEP Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 51 54
Line Yards 92 57
Pass Success 116 48
Pass Blocking** 20 49
Big Play 116 83
Havoc 115 46
Finishing Drives 123 69
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UTEP Offense vs. New Mexico Defense

Offense

Defense

Edge

Rush Success 125 66
Line Yards 102 44
Pass Success 18 31
Pass Blocking** 61 14
Big Play 81 50
Havoc 90 27
Finishing Drives 94 77
**Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 58 95
PFF Coverage 29 130
Middle 8 73 114
SP+ Special Teams 87 26
Plays per Minute 95 123
Rush Rate 58.1% (47) 65.8% (13)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


New Mexico vs. UTEP Betting Pick

Both programs will be fired up to reignite the rivalry. If you enjoy slow-paced, hard-nosed, defensive football, then this is the game for you.

UTEP plays at the 123rd-slowest tempo in the nation, while New Mexico sits at 95th. The game clock will rarely stop as these offenses run the ball a combined 62% of its overall plays.

The drives will be slow, long and rarely will result in touchdowns, as each offense ranks near the bottom of the country in Finishing Drives.

In short, this matchup is an under bettor’s dream.

Pick: Under 54.5 (Play to 52)

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