New Mexico State vs. Wisconsin Odds, Picks: Expect Defenses to Shine
Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Graham Mertz (Wisconsin)
- New Mexico State heads to Madison on Saturday afternoon to take on Wisconsin in Week 3 college football action.
- The Badgers enter as big favorites, but the total sits at a low 46.5.
- Doug Ziefel breaks down this Week 3 college football matchup and shares his best bet below.
New Mexico State vs. Wisconsin Odds
There's no way around it. This is one of the biggest mismatches that we will see this week, but that does not mean there isn't value in the matchup.
The New Mexico State Aggies are one of the worst teams in the country, as they come in ranked 128th in our Action Network power ratings. They have not done much to warrant any confidence, as they are 0-3 and got blown out by Minnesota.
Now they are going to be lined up against another Big Ten foe, but this matchup is a step up in competition.
As for the Badgers, they could very well take out their frustration on the Aggies after they got upset as 17.5-point favorites last week against Washington State.
The upset was peculiar, as Washington State was outgained 401 to 253 in the total yards department. Timely turnovers made the difference, but you can be sure that the Badgers will take better care of the football this week.
The Aggies have had their fair share of struggles offensively thus far, and that may be putting it lightly. They enter this matchup averaging just 8.3 points per game and 235.7 total yards per game. Those averages are good for 126th and 121st, respectively.
We're going to see the Aggies keep the ball on the ground the majority of the time, and they have a tandem of ball carriers led by quarterback Diego Pavia.
Pavia has been fairly explosive on the ground, as he's averaging 5.2 yards per carry and has scored two of the team's three touchdowns on the year.
The Aggies' backfield is going to have a long day, though, as the Badgers have been very stout against the rush. They rank sixth in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and are first in Defensive Finishing Drives. So, if New Mexico State does actually get a drive going, don't expect it to end with any points.
When it comes to the passing attack, not much can be expected there, either. The Aggies have used two quarterbacks, and neither has had much success. As a result, they rank 127th in Passing Success Rate and are 121st in Offensive Finishing Drives.
On the other side, sophomore running back Braelon Allen should be the star of the show. The Badgers run the ball 63% of the time, and Allen has gotten 43% of the rushing attempts so far.
He's also managed to do plenty of damage with those carries, as he's averaging seven yards per carry on the season.
Teams have already pulverized the Aggies on the ground, as they rank 96th in yards per carry allowed and 103rd in rushing yards per game allowed. It also doesn't help that they are going to be massively outmatched in the trenches, with their ranking of 115th in Defensive Line Yards.
Wisconsin should be able to move the ball at will and score on nearly every opportunity it gets. However, what plays into our angle is its play-calling style and tempo.
We know the Badgers are going to keep the ball on the ground almost exclusively, but they are also very slow when it comes to running plays. The Badgers are 130th in plays per second, and the Aggies are not much faster, ranking 108th.
New Mexico State vs. Wisconsin Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how New Mexico State and Wisconsin match up statistically:
New Mexico State Offense vs. Wisconsin Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Wisconsin Offense vs. New Mexico State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||131||78|
|Seconds per Play||28.8 (109)||31.7 (130)|
|Rush Rate||54.8% (55)||63.3% (19)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus, and SportSource Analytics.
New Mexico State vs. Wisconsin Betting Pick
I expect this matchup to look a lot like New Mexico State's game against Minnesota. Wisconsin has a very similar profile, except it may have even more success on the ground.
However, the good thing is that the Badgers will dominate the time of possession and shorten this game while putting up points in the process.
In addition, the Aggies will also be slugs when they have the ball, so they are the perfect pairing with the Badgers to help keep this game under the total.
Wisconsin may even cover this massive spread and still go under the total, as New Mexico State will likely be shut out.