Fresno State vs New Mexico State Odds, Pick & Prediction | NCAAF Betting Preview

Fresno State vs New Mexico State Odds, Pick & Prediction | NCAAF Betting Preview article feature image

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It's time to take a look at the Fresno State Bulldogs vs. New Mexico State Aggies odds and make a pick and prediction for the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday's college football slate.

Fresno State vs New Mexico State Odds

Sat., December 16
5:45 p.m. ET
Fresno St. Bulldogs Odds
Point SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-110o / -110u
New Mexico St. Aggies Odds
Point SpreadOver/UnderMoneyline
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Fresno State and New Mexico State meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday afternoon to play in the 18th annual New Mexico Bowl.

The Aggies have had a historic season in which they've already racked up double-digit wins and played for a conference title.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have struggled down the stretch and enter the bowl game with a record of 8-4 overall.

When the bowls were announced, this matchup and the betting value on one side jumped off the page.

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Fresno State Bulldogs

After the dramatic win over Boise State on Nov. 4, Fresno State found itself at the top of the Mountain West standings with just one loss on the season. However, that marked the final victory for the Bulldogs.

Unfortunately for them, they caught San Jose State at the wrong time following the win over the Broncos, but it's hard to make sens of the losses to New Mexico and San Diego State.

To make matters worse, head coach Jeff Tedford announced he would be stepping away from coaching for medical reasons before this game, leaving assistant head coach and linebackers coach Tim Skipper to act as the interim head coach.

Ironically, Fresno also had an interim coach in the program’s last appearance in the New Mexico Bowl, where Lee Marks took over for Kalen DeBoer to lead the Bulldogs to a win over UTEP.

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New Mexico State Aggies

For the second time in program history, New Mexico State has secured double-digit wins. The only other Aggie team to accomplish the feat was the 1960 squad that finished the season 11-0.

This has been a remarkable coaching job by veteran Jerry Kill, who has now taken the program to back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the 1959 and 1960 campaigns.

This season has been similar to 2022 for NMSU. The Aggies again started slowly with three losses in the first five games before closing the regular season with eight straight wins.

They now get the opportunity to play in a bowl in their home state and the hometown of multiple players, including star quarterback Diego Pavia.

This is all set up for a dream ending to what has been an incredible season in Las Cruces.

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Fresno State vs New Mexico State

Matchup Analysis

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

New Mexico State Offense vs Fresno State Defense
Rush Success550
Line Yards561
Pass Success4999
Finishing Drives5131
Quality Drives3455
Fresno State Offense vs New Mexico State Defense
Rush Success112105
Line Yards9394
Pass Success4442
Finishing Drives4062
Quality Drives7842
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling10185
PFF Coverage9669
Special Teams SP+5029
Middle 848100
Seconds per Play30.7 (129)25.8 (40)
Rush Rate58.1% (30)41.6% (127)

Fresno State vs New Mexico State

Pick, Prediction

All signs are pointing toward Pavia, NMSU's start quarterback, being healthy enough to play in this game, which is all I needed to see to make this bet.

So, my best bet is to back the Aggies at -3.5 at Caesars, which I would play to -5.5. If you're looking for a moneyline parlay piece, I also think NMSU would be a great pairing in this spot.

Before we dive into the numbers, all of the motivation sides with Kill’s team. The Aggies get to play in front of a home crowd against a team that lost its coach and conference title hopes late in the year.

I don't love the fact that the biggest piece in the portal for either team is New Mexico State’s Trent Hudson, who leads the squad with 10 receiving touchdowns.

However, I think the Aggies do all of their damage on the ground here. On the season, the Aggies rank fifth in the country in Rush Success and Line Yards.

Meanwhile, Fresno State was horrific at stopping the run to end the season. The Bulldogs finished in the bottom 10 defensively among Group of Five programs in Line Yards, Rush Success and Rush Predicted Points Added. In fact, SJSU, SDSU and New Mexico combined to average just under 300 yards rushing against Fresno in the final three contests.

On the other side of the ball, the way opponents can attack the Aggies defense is on the ground. However, the Bulldogs rank 127th out of 133 FBS teams in rush rate, and I just don’t see them consistently beating NMSU through the air.

I’ve backed this New Mexico State "Ponzi scheme" a lot this season, and I plan to have one last ride in the bowl game.

Pick: New Mexico State -3.5 (Play to -5.5)

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