Utah State vs New Mexico Odds & Pick: Can Lobos Keep It Close?
Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: New Mexico’s Jacory Crockett-Merritt.
- The Utah State Aggies take on the New Mexico Lobos in Black Friday college football action.
- Utah State enters as a 4.5-point favorite with an over/under of 60.5.
- Check out our full betting preview and pick for Utah State vs New Mexico below.
Utah State vs New Mexico Odds
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On the final Friday of the regular season, the Utah State Aggies (5-6) will travel to take on the New Mexico Lobos (4-7).
These teams both have high-octane offenses and play very little defense, so there may be a lot of fireworks. However, I don't believe the differences between these teams justify the spread.
Let’s dive into my Utah State vs. New Mexico prediction.
The Aggies are just one win away from bowl eligibility, and if they qualify for a bowl, it would be head coach Blake Anderson’s third bowl appearance in as many years on campus.
Utah State ranks 72nd in the country in Offensive Success Rate but has made big plays and ranks 20th in explosiveness. However, the Aggies are only 107th in Finishing Drives and 117th in Havoc Rate Allowed.
Utah State’s play calling is split exactly 50-50 between the run and pass. Under quarterback Cooper Legas, the Aggies rank 69th in Passing Success Rate, 44th in PPA and 16th in explosiveness.
The running game has also been relatively strong, ranking 56th in Success Rate and 41st in PPA. The big plays aren't there, though, as Utah State comes in at just 81st in rushing explosiveness.
On the defensive side of the ball, Utah State has struggled mightily. The Aggies rank 114th in Success Rate and 117th in Finishing Drives. This is also the 127th-rated unit, according to SP+. The lone bright spot on this side of the ball is Utah State's ability to prevent big plays, as it ranks 13th in explosiveness allowed.
The passing defense has been adequate, ranking 74th in Success Rate and 49th in PPA Allowed. However, the run defense ranks 124th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 94th in PPA Allowed.
New Mexico is 4-7 and won't make a bowl, but will still be going hard for its fifth win of the season. Four wins may not seem like much, but this is the most wins the Lobos have had since 2016, when they went 9-4 under Bob Davie.
New Mexico's offense has been leading the charge. The Lobos are 24th in the country in Success Rate and 50th in Points per Opportunity despite having the worst average starting field position in FBS.
Rushing the ball at the 53rd-highest rate in the country, the Lobos are 23rd in Success Rate and 27th in PPA. Jacory Croskey-Merritt has been the star of the rushing game with 158 carries for 952 yards (6.0 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns. The senior transfer from Alabama State is also averaging a whopping 0.24 EPA per rush this season.
Through the air, former UAB signal-caller Dylan Hopkins leads the offense. Under his tutelage, the Lobos are 31st in Passing Success Rate and 29th in Passing PPA.
The defense is the primary reason New Mexico doesn't have more wins this season. This defense is 128th in Success Rate and rated 126th by SP+. The Lobos are also 103rd in Havoc and 106th in Finishing Drives.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Utah State and New Mexico match up statistically:
Utah State Offense vs. New Mexico Defense
New Mexico Offense vs. Utah State Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+
|Seconds per Play
Both of these teams fit a similar mold, as they've gotten to this point in the season on the backs of their offenses, while their defenses have been the root of their struggles.
I know Utah State is looking to go bowling, but I don’t believe that there's a 6.5-point difference between these squads, especially with the Lobos playing at home.
Both offenses should excel, but I expect this to be a close game with New Mexico State possibly even winning outright.