New Mexico Bowl Odds
The Arizona Wildcats (7-5) and Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5) kick off the 2012-13 bowl season Saturday, Dec. 15 at 1:00 PM ET in the New Mexico Bowl, which takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Oddsmakers have listed Arizona as an 8.5-point favorite and have set the total at 75.0.
Why Arizona Covers
The Wildcats have played better football than Nevada down the stretch. They won four of their final six regular-season contests with impressive victories over Washington and USC during this span. The Wolf Pack, on the other hand, lost four of their final five regular-season games.
Nevada has been a poor investment. It is just 3-9 against the spread in all games this season, including 1-7 against the spread in its last eight. The Wolf Pack check into this contest off a rare cover but are 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four games following an against the spread win. They are also 0-6 against the spread under coach Chris Ault when playing away from home after failing to cover the spread in three of their last four games.
In addition, Nevada is 2-8-1 against the spread in its last 11 games versus non-conference opponents and 1-7-1 against the spread in its last nine games versus teams that have a winning record. The Wolf Pack are also 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four neutral-site contests and 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five bowl games.
The Wildcats should be an awfully tough matchup for a Nevada defense that ranks 112th in the nation against the run with 212.9 yards allowed per game. Arizona is one of the top offensive teams in the country behind a running attack that ranks 15th with 230.4 yards per contest.
We have seen it before where a school from a BCS conference doesn’t show up against against a school from a non-BCS conference, almost as if it is uninterested. The Wildcats, however, should be excited about this game after missing out on the postseason last year.
Why Nevada Covers
The Wildcats could be getting a little too much respect from oddsmakers considering how poorly they have played on the defensive side of the football. They rank 120th in the nation in total defense with 485.7 yards allowed per game and 103rd in scoring defense with 34.2 points allowed per contest. Nevada’s explosive offensive attack should be able to move the football on this unit.
The Wolf Pack rank 11th in the country in total offense with 502.8 yards per game and 20th in scoring with 37.0 points per game.
Nevada’s scoring output is significant because Arizona is on a 3-11 against the spread slide versus good offensive teams that average 31.0 points or more per game. The Wildcats have lost by an average score of 38.8 to 24.1 in these contests.
Arizona has been a poor investment when laying points for a very long time. It is 41-71 against the spread as a favorite over the last two decades and is just 14-30 against the number as a favorite of 3.5 to 10.0 points during this span.
Nevada has been the more successful team on the road. It is 5-1 when playing away from home this season while Arizona is just 1-3 on the year outside Tucson.
I believe Arizona will be the straight up winner of this game. Visit this page for the rest of my bowl predictions. Also, be sure to check out who Brandon Lee, Vegas Top Cappers, and Jack Jones have picked to win the New Mexico Bowl.