New Mexico vs. UNLV Odds, Picks & Predictions: How to Bet Friday’s Mountain West College Football Matchup

New Mexico vs. UNLV Odds, Picks & Predictions: How to Bet Friday’s Mountain West College Football Matchup article feature image

Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Miles Kendrick (New Mexico)

  • The New Mexico Lobos head to Nevada on Friday night to face the UNLV Rebels in a Mountain West Conference college football matchup.
  • The Lobos enter as two-touchdown underdogs, but we see betting value on them on Friday.
  • Check out Cooper Van Tatenhove's full betting breakdown and pick for New Mexico vs. UNLV below.

New Mexico vs. UNLV Odds

Friday, Sept. 30
11 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
New Mexico Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

There is no better way to gear up for the Saturday slate than a Friday night Mountain West matchup between UNLV and New Mexico.

This matchup has been nothing short of entertaining, with the road team winning the last five matchups both outright and against the spread.

Four of those five road wins were outright upsets.

UNLV comes into this matchup a perfect 4-0 ATS this season, while New Mexico is looking to bounce back from a 38-0 loss to LSU.

With a win on Friday night, New Mexico and third-year head coach Danny Gonzales can already cash their season win total over (2.5).

New Mexico Lobos

Coming into the 2022 season, the focus for New Mexico was an improvement on offense.

Offensively, New Mexico can't be much worse than its 2021 season, as it failed to score more than 17 points in 10 of its 12 games.

This year, there hasn’t been a drastic improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Through four weeks, the Lobos have posted an overall Offensive Success Rate of just 33%, with 3.4 points per scoring opportunity.

Quarterback Miles Kendrick, who transferred from Kansas in the offseason, has continued the average quarterback play for the Lobos.

Kendrick has thrown for just 430 yards on a 57% completion percentage through four games.

Although New Mexico has its problems on the offensive side, the team's play style and pace have been enough to keep it in every game this season, including covering the spread until late in the third quarter against a much more talented LSU team.

New Mexico ranks dead last in the country in plays per minute and plays per second. The Lobos average only 1.81 plays per minute for an average of 225 a contest.

By limiting offensive possessions, New Mexico has been able to post a positive 2-1-1 record ATS this season despite its underwhelming offense.

In addition to this slow play style, defensive coordinator Rocky Long has built a defensive unit that prides itself on forcing opponents into slow and methodical scoring drives.

So far in 2022, New Mexico has been able to limit teams’ success through the air. The Lobos' defensive backs have a 10% Havoc rate — to go along with a 20% Passing Downs Success Rate — that helps to limit the big-play ability of their opponents.

In addition, New Mexico has a Defensive Success Rate of 39% against the pass, which is good for top-40 nationally.

Forcing UNLV into a run-first attack will limit the Rebels' overall offensive possessions.

Against UTEP in Week 3, the Lobos were able to force an astounding seven turnovers. Although this volume of turnovers is impossible to repeat, it speaks volumes about the way Long wants this defensive unit to play.

Another factor that will limit UNLV’s possessions on Friday night includes with where it starts on offense.

Through four games, New Mexico has been able to start opposing offenses on their own 27.1-yard line, on average.

This ability to pin teams deep is yet another reason New Mexico has been able to limit offensive possessions for its opponents.

On Friday night, the Lobos will look to stay within the number, as they have done all season long given their slow and methodical play style on both sides of the ball.

UNLV Rebels

After a disappointing 2-10 season in 2021, UNLV is off to an impressive 3-1 start under third-year head coach Marcus Arroyo.

Much of UNLV’s success has come on the ground via junior running back Aidan Robbins, who has posted an impressive 5.3 yards per catch and seven touchdowns.

Another bright spot for the Rebels offensively has been quarterback Doug Brumfield, who has posted a season-long rating of 162.5 to go with a completion percentage of 69.8%.

Additionally, Brumfield has been relatively mistake-free, posting an 8:1 TD:INT ratio.

UNLV has rushed the ball a total of 157 times, as opposed to only 126 total passing attempts. The Rebels rank third in the nation in EPA per Rush, which explains their tendency to favor the ground game.

This dependency on the rush will again show itself Friday night against a New Mexico team that has more success when defending the pass. UNLV ranks second in the country in total Line Yards while New Mexico ranks 116thin Defensive Line Yards.

I expect UNLV to keep the ball on the ground early and often on Friday night given New Mexico's strength against the pass. This dependence on the ground game will further limit the possessions for each team.

Defensively, UNLV has been far from perfect. This is an experienced group with nine of its top 11 tacklers back, but the Rebels' opponents have been able to find success against this unit.

UNLV has allowed its opponents to produce an overall Explosiveness of 1.39, which balloons up to 2.04 on passing downs.

On top of that, the Rebels have allowed 3.3 Line Yards per rush due to their 15% Stuff Rate against the run.

In a game in which possessions will be so valuable, allowing this type of explosiveness will hinder UNLV’s ability to cover the spread.

The must-have app for college football bettors

The best NCAAF betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

New Mexico vs. UNLV Matchup Analysis

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

New Mexico Offense vs. UNLV Defense
Rush Success9355
Line Yards9498
Pass Success12558
Pass Blocking**12962
Finishing Drives10021
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

UNLV Offense vs. New Mexico Defense
Rush Success3798
Line Yards2116
Pass Success11547
Pass Blocking**72115
Finishing Drives1526
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling12788
PFF Coverage1824
SP+ Special Teams11241
Seconds per Play33.0 (131)27.1 (79)
Rush Rate68.4% (6)55.5% (52)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

New Mexico vs. UNLV Betting Pick

Overall, I believe that this number is simply too inflated given the way that both teams want to play on Friday night.

New Mexico will look to dominate the time of possession to keep the UNLV offense off the field.

Defensively, the Lobos will also work to force UNLV into long methodical scoring drives that rely heavily on the rushing attack.

At the time of writing, UNLV is a 14.5-point favorite. Although UNLV has a clear advantage offensively, I believe New Mexico will be able to do enough on both sides of the ball to turn this game into a slow-paced slugfest and ultimately stay within the number.

Pick: New Mexico +14.5 (Play to +14 -120)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.