Fresno State fell short of its quest for repeat Mountain West Championships, falling out of the race in the final two weeks of the season and losing three straight to close out the year.
The Bulldogs are bowl eligible, though, and will face New Mexico State, who finished the season on a tear before losing to unbeaten Liberty in the Conference USA title game. Two teams with potent offenses meet in this bowl game, how should we bet it?
We have you covered at BetSided for EVERY bowl game, which you can find here, but this is our best bet for the New Mexico Bowl.
You should sign up for Caesars Sportsbook this bowl season to boost your sportsbook account! Caesars is matching all new users first bets up to $1,000 when they sign up through the link below! Get started now.
New Mexico State vs. Fresno State Odds, Spread and Total
Fresno State vs. New Mexico State Betting Trends
- New Mexico State is 11-3 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Fresno State is 4-8 ATS this season
- New Mexico State is 5-1 ATS as a favorite this season
- Fresno State went OVER in both games as an underdog
- New Mexico State's head coach Jerry Kill is 2-5 ATS in bowl games
New Mexico State vs. Fresno State How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 16
- Game Time: 5:45 PM EST
- Venue: University Stadium
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- New Mexico State Record: 10-4
- Fresno State Record: 8-4
New Mexico State vs. Fresno State Key Players to Watch
New Mexico State
Diego Pavia: Pavia has emerged as one of the Group of Five's best quarterbacks, the leader of an offense that is top 10 in success rate on the year. Pavia is the team's leading rusher (976 yards and six touchdowns) in addition to passing for 2,821 yards.
Mikey Keene: Keene battled injuries throughout the year, but this was an above average Bulldogs offense that checked in 57th nationally in terms of EPA/Play. The team was seventh in terms of passing play percentage at about 60% and Keene completed 66% of his passes. However, the team wasn't all that vertical in the passing game, bottom 10 nationally in explosive pass rate.
New Mexico State vs. Fresno State Prediction and Pick
It's worth noting that Pavia didn't finish the CUSA Championship game due to an arm injury, which could throw this game into flux for the Aggies. Backup Blaze Berlowitz did look sharp in relief of Pavia, and may keep the team on schedule on offense but Pavia's impact is one of the most notable in the country. Make sure to monitor his status leading up to this bowl game.
As for the Fresno State side, head coach Jeff Tedford is not coaching this game due to a health issue, but the team should be at full strength otherwise.
Given Fresno State's propensity to pass, and New Mexico's poor defense that is 106th in success rate, I believe the Bulldogs can move the ball easily on the Aggies defense. New Mexico State has a formidable pass rush, 31 sacks on the year (25th nationally), but Fresno State counters that with an above average pass blocking unit, 41st in pass block grading per Pro Football Focus.
On the other side, whether its Pavia or Berlowitz, I expect New Mexico State to have a big day on the ground against Fresno State's suspect rush defense. The team grades out 91st in PFF's run stopping grade and is 81st in yards per carry. Given the weapons NMSU has on the ground outside of Pavia, with the likes of Star Thomas (5.81 yards per carry) I believe the team can move the ball as well.
I like the over in what should be a game dominated by each team's offense.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!