This Saturday the New Mexico Lobos (3-7, 1-5 MWC) will host the UNLV Rebels (4-6, 3-3 MWC). Kickoff is set for 9:30 EST at Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque and will be televised on ESPN2.
Oddsmakers currently have this game listed as a pick’em with the total set at 56 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 12 betting schedule, plus more links to our game previews.
UNLV vs New Mexico Vegas Odds & Betting Preview
The Rebels come into this one off a 21-31 home loss to BYU as a 1-point underdog. UNLV was able to move the ball, as they had 447 yards on the game, but missed a field goal and threw an interception in Cougars territory. Either way, it’s a bad loss against a BYU team that came in just 2-8 on the season.
It wasn’t much better for the Lobos last week, as they got annihilated 55-14 on the road against Texas A&M. Vegas certainly expected a better effort out of New Mexico, as they were only a 18.5-point underdog in that matchup on the road against a SEC foe. That’s now 5 straight losses for the Lobos after their promising 3-2 start, which included wins over Tulsa and Air Force.
College Football Free Pick & Predictions: New Mexico PK
I would have to lean towards backing the Lobos at home in this one. The fact that UNLV needs to win this game and on the road at Nevada next week to become bowl eligible will have a lot of people leaning towards taking the Rebels. Especially after how bad New Mexico looked in their last game, which eliminated the Lobos from any shot at becoming bowl eligible.
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I’m not buying New Mexico just laying down for UNLV here. In fact, I think we are going to see a big time effort here from the Lobos in their final home game of the season, which means a little extra incentive to play well for the departing seniors. It’s also worth noting that while New Mexico is just 1-2 at home in conference play, they have outgained all 3 of their opponents out of the MWC on their home field and that includes two of the better teams in Colorado State and Utah State.
Another big key here is the matchup. New Mexico is a team that relies heavily on their running game, so in order for them to have success, they need to be able to establish the ground attack. The Lobos come in ranked 22nd in the country at 226.1 rushing yards/game, compared to 122nd in passing at 132.2 ypg. They should be able to have success on the ground against the Rebels, who are 120th in the country, giving up 227.3 yards/game to opposing rushing attacks.
This is also a great matchup for New Mexico’s defense. UNLV is very similar to the Lobos, in that their offense is built around their running game. UNLV ranks 20th in rushing (239.5 ypg) and 98th in passing (187.2 ypg). You wouldn’t expect it from a 3-7 team, but New Mexico has been very good against the run, as they rank 28th, giving up only 130.1 ypg.
Lastly, we see that the Rebels have a history of underperforming on the road against bad teams, as they are just 5-16 ATS in their last 21 road games against a team with a losing home record. Give me the Lobos.