Fresno State vs. New Mexico Odds, Picks: Why to Back the Lobos

Fresno State vs. New Mexico Odds, Picks: Why to Back the Lobos article feature image

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Danny Gonzales (New Mexico)

Fresno State vs. New Mexico Odds

Saturday, Oct. 22
6:30 p.m. ET
Fresno State Odds
-106o / -114u
New Mexico Odds
-106o / -114u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Fresno State was thrown a curveball after star quarterback Jake Haener was injured in its Week 3 loss to USC. He was seen throwing in street clothes, but all indications point to him being out for this matchup against New Mexico.

Last week, the Bulldogs kept their Mountain West title hopes alive after upsetting San Jose State as touchdown underdogs. The defense carried them to the victory after holding the Spartans to 1.6 yards per carry and 3-of-15 on third downs.

Despite the injuries, Fresno State has an opportunity to get to 2-1 in Mountain West play with a victory over New Mexico.

The Lobos are losers of four games in a row after opening the season 2-1. Last week, the program suffered a 12-point loss to in-state rival New Mexico State.

The turnover battle could be a crucial factor to this Mountain West matchup.

Fresno State Bulldogs

The Fresno offense has taken a monumental step back without Haener. In his three starts — two of which were against Pac-12 foes — Haener was electric. He threw for 377 yards in the opener and 360 yards against Oregon State before getting hurt against USC.

He averaged 8.1 yards per pass attempt and threw four touchdowns with one interception.

That success hasn’t translated over to backup quarterback Logan Fife. The sophomore was impressive when he took over against USC, completing 11-of-12 passes for 140 yards. But since, Fife has averaged 6.6 yards per pass attempt and has thrown five interceptions to only one touchdown.

What was supposed to be one of the top Group of Five offenses in the country has dropped down to the 104th scoring offense, averaging 20 points against FBS competition.

The rushing attack hasn’t helped the backup quarterback, as the group is averaging 3.3 yards per carry, ranking outside the top 100.

The offense has coughed the football up 10 times this season. That’s a cause for concern against a Lobos defense that is tied for second in the nation with 12 forced fumbles this year.

The Fresno State defense has been solid against the pass this season, holding opponents to just a 55% completion rate. But that won’t be much help against a New Mexico offense that rushes the ball at the seventh-highest rate in the country.

New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico looks to stop the bleeding after dropping its last four matchups all by double-digits. The last three losses have come to opponents that rank outside the top 100 in the country.

But the Lobos have an opportunity to stop the bleeding against a banged-up Fresno State program.

The Lobos' offense has been horrid this year, averaging only 14 points a game against FBS opponents. One of the reasons is the program plays at the third-slowest tempo in the country. Couple that with a Rush Rate of 65%, and that can make for some low-scoring games.

That’s the intention of head coach Danny Gonzales. New Mexico looks to lean on its defense that ranks among the top 20 in Havoc and 33rd in Finishing Drives. The Lobos are allowing 26 points per game this year while holding opponents to just 32% on third down — good for 17th nationally.

New Mexico has come away with eight interceptions this season while forcing 12 fumbles. That will be key against a Fresno State offense that is averaging over two turnovers per game.

Quarterback Miles Kendrick has had some turnover issues himself, throwing seven picks to only three touchdowns this season. New Mexico hasn’t thrown the ball much, averaging just six yards per pass attempt on 20 passes per contest.

Fresno State vs. New Mexico Matchup Analysis

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

Fresno State Offense vs. New Mexico Defense
Rush Success4184
Line Yards10575
Pass Success3645
Pass Blocking**103126
Finishing Drives10833
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

New Mexico Offense vs. Fresno State Defense
Rush Success10766
Line Yards102105
Pass Success12870
Pass Blocking**10196
Finishing Drives10978
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling89102
PFF Coverage4815
SP+ Special Teams8496
Seconds per Play26.3 (64)30.8 (128)
Rush Rate49.0% (89)65.3% (7)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Fresno State vs. New Mexico Betting Pick

This matchup takes a whole new dynamic without Haener under center for Fresno State. With Haener under center, the offense averaged 33 points per game and over 500 yards of total offense. With Fife at the helm, those numbers have dropped to 17 points per game and 250 yards of offense.

The drop off has been significant, and now the Bulldogs will match up against a challenging Rocky Long Jr. defense. The Lobos' defense has thrived, forcing 14 turnovers through its first seven games.

Meanwhile, Fresno State has turned the ball over 10 times this season, including five interceptions from Fife over the last three games.

New Mexico will utilize its rush-first offense against a Fresno State defense that has been exposed on the ground. The Lobos will utilize their 128th-ranked pace to keep the Bulldogs' defense on the field constantly.

The Bulldogs lost outright as 23.5-point favorites to Connecticut. That should tell you all you need to know about the importance of Haener. Without him under center, I can’t lay double digits on Fresno against any program.

With the total set at just 41 points, this is expected to play in New Mexico’s favor. A slow-paced defensive battle is the type of game Gonzales wants his program involved in.

Pick: New Mexico +10.5 (Play to +8.5)

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