The UTSA Roadrunners will take on the New Mexico Lobos in the New Mexico Bowl. The game is schedule for Saturday, December 17. Kickoff is set for 2:00 EST at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The game will be televised on ESPN. Oddsmakers have the Lobos listed as a 7-point favorite with the total set at 62.5 points.

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New Mexico Bowl Vegas Betting Preview: New Mexico vs UTSA

The Roadrunners (6-6) finished 2nd in the C-USA West division with a 5-3 record. UTSA didn’t become bowl eligible until beating Charlotte 33-14 in their regular season finale. It’s quite an accomplishment for the Roadrunners in their first year under Frank Wilson. It will be UTSA’s first ever bowl game in program history.

The Lobos (8-4) ended up a 3-way tie for 1st in the MWC Mountain Division with a 6-2 conference mark. New Mexico missed out on playing in the MWC title game due to losing the tie-breaker. The Lobos made it to a bowl game last year, but lost 37-45 to Arizona in this same bowl. They will be searching for their first bowl win since 2007.

New Mexico Bowl Free Pick & Betting Predictions: UTSA +7

My early lean here is on the Roadrunners to keep it within a touchdown. I know this is a home game for the Lobos, but I believe it’s already been factored into the line. Just looking at the records, the public will be all over New Mexico. However, I think these are two evenly matched teams.

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The Lobos come into this game with the nations top ranked rushing attack, averaging 360.9 ypg. I’m not as big on teams like New Mexico who are one dimensional in these bowl games. Especially when facing a team that has the ability to counter that strength. I believe UTSA is capable of at least slowing down that Lobos rushing attack.

The Roadrunners finished a respectable 58th in the country in total defense (401.1 ypg). Most importantly they were at their best against the run, allowing just 157.8 ypg. That’s pretty impressive given the explosive offenses in C-USA. UTSA also played two capable Power 5 offenses in Texas A&M and Arizona State. It’s also worth pointing out that UTSA hasn’t allowed more than 185 rushing yards in their last 8 games.

On the flip side of this, I think the UTSA offense can have success here against the Lobos defense. New Mexico ranked 95th in the country, giving up 32.4 ppg. That’s critical here, as the Roadrunners are a bit limited offensively.

These two did play one common opponent in Colorado State. While both lost to the Rams, UTSA only lost by 9 on the road, where New Mexico lost by 19. It’s also worth noting while the Roadrunners played ASU (28-32) and Texas A&M (10-23) tough, the Lobos lost to an awful Rutgers team 28-37.

We also have a solid trend in play favoring a fade of the Lobos. In their finale, New Mexico beat Wyoming 56-35, leading by as much as 35-points. The Lobos are a mere 2-10 ATS in their last 12 after leading by 24 or more at any points in their previous game.