The San Diego State Aztecs (9-3) travel to Albuquerque this weekend to battle the Central Michigan Chippewas (8-5) in the 2019 New Mexico Bowl. Kickoff is set for 2:00 PM EST on December 21st at Dreamstyle Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the full list of college bowl betting odds, San Diego State is currently listed as a 4-point favorite. The total for the game is sitting at 41 points. You can also click here to check out our 2019-20 bowl predictions page.
New Mexico Bowl Vegas Odds Preview: SDSU vs Central Michigan
Central Michigan won three out of their last four games to close out the regular season, beating Northern Illinois, Ball State, and Toledo to finish the year 8-5 overall. The Chippewas looked like a completely different program on both sides of the ball after going just 1-11 during the 2018 regular season. There is no doubt that the biggest factor in the lightning-quick turnaround was their resurgent play on offense, as Quinten Dormady and Co. averaged almost 32 points per game. Central Michigan also racked up close to 440 total yards of offense per outing, averaging over 6.0 yards per play.
The Chippewas were also much improved on defense, holding their opponents to just under 27 points per game. While Central Michigan did allow over 235 yards per game through the air, they did limit their opponents to just 116.5 yards per outing on the ground.
San Diego State finished the year at 9-3 overall after slipping by BYU 13-3 at home at the end of November in what was yet another outstanding defensive performance. The Aztecs were easily one of the Top 25 teams defensively in the entire nation during the regular season, giving up under 13 points per game. However, their offense really struggled to put points on the board with any real consistency, averaging under 20 points per outing. While the running game certainly contributed on a fairly regular basis, the passing attack averaged well under 200 yards per game.
The Aztecs were outstanding against both the run and the pass, allowing just over 215 yards per game through the air and under 80 rushing yards per game on the ground. As a whole, the defense gave up only 4.64 yards per play during the regular season.
2019 New Mexico Bowl Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Central Michigan +4
While this spread has already shrunk by half a point, I still think that the Chippewas offer decent value in this particular spot. Central Michigan should be able to find a way to score enough points to keep this game interesting, especially since the Aztecs offense is very unlikely to put up more than a couple of touchdowns. Of course, SDSU’s exceptional play on defense is certainly something to respect, especially since it could easily lead them to victory in this latest installment of the New Mexico Bowl. Even so, the Chippewas are still my preferred option in this matchup, as they were a very impressive 9-3-1 against the spread during the regular season and had no problem keeping things close away from Kelly Shorts Stadium.
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Of course, San Diego State’s 4-1 record outright against MAC opponents is at least somewhat concerning. However, Central Michigan has been on fire against the spread since early October, covering the number in six out of their last eight outings overall. The Chippewas also went 6-2 straight up over that same time span. As long as the spread stays at four points or higher, I’m more than happy to roll the dice with the slight underdog on Saturday afternoon – give me Central Michigan to cover in what should be a highly entertaining 2019 New Mexico Bowl.