UTEP vs New Mexico State Odds & Betting Preview: After A Year Off, Will The Aggies Pull Off An Upset In Week 1?
UTEP Miners vs. New Mexico State Aggies Odds & Betting Preview
Date: Saturday, August 28
Time: 9:30 PM ET
Location: Aggie Memorial Stadium (Las Cruces, NM)
UTEP Record: 0-0 (0-0 Conference USA)
New Mexico State Record: 0-0 (0-0 FBS Independent Schools)
The excitement is palpable with college football just days away from kicking off its much anticipated season around the country. The clash between the UTEP Miners and New Mexico State Aggies practically leaps off the page among the slew of matchups scheduled for the weekend. Indeed, UTEP vs. New Mexico betting is heating up.
Early signs show the public is heavily backing the favored visitors. The consequence has seen the NCAAF line for this game, which opened on 9 points, jump out to 10 points with most reputable sportsbooks. The total is hovering between 56.5 and 57 points at the time of writing.
UTEP Miners Preview
2020 Record: 3-5-0 overall, 0-4 in C-USA
2020 ATS Record::5-3-0 ATS
2020 Total: 4-4-0 O/U
Head Coach: Dana Dimel, 4th year, 5-27 overall
UTEP Miners are coming off a so-so season that culminated in a subpar 3-5-0 overall mark, which included a discouraging 0-4-0 mark in C-USA conference play. However, if there’s a knockback, it’s how they ended their season -- by riding a four-game losing streak down the stretch.
So, UTEP’s 2020 campaign wasn’t anything to write home about by any stretch of the imagination, but coach Dana Dimel can look forward to 2021 with a measure of optimism. This year’s offensive line is the most experienced he’s coached during his time with the Miners, and the defense is expected to be much improved this season. He has 19 players returning, 11 of which are on offense. So, expectations are high for a big season with a bowl game at the end of it.
The offense averaged 348.1 total yards per game and 23 points on average. This includes 209.3 passing yards and 138.9 rushing yards per game.
The defense allowed 381.3 total yards per game and 31 points on average. This includes 240.9 yards per game against the pass and 140.4 yards per game against the rush.
UTEP Players To Watch:
QB Gavin Hardison needs to raise the bar in his sophomore season after going for 1419 passing yards, 5 TDs, and 5 INTs. The Miners will need more reliable play from Hardison if they’re to have any success in 2021. In addition, Hardison has a couple of receivers that will be key to the passing game’s improvement – Jacob Cowing and Justin Garrett combined for 79 catches and six scores last season.
Meanwhile, RB Deion Hankins was a standout rushing for 592 yards and 9 touchdowns, while Quadraiz Wadley is set to return to the fold after missing last season due to injury. Wadley was the leading rusher in 2018, and the Miners will welcome his return to form.
On the defense, all eyes will be on DE Praise Amaewhule, who’s a bona fide disrupter and sets the tone in the pass rush. He had 5.5 sacks and 7 tackles for loss with 8 broken-up passes in just eight games last season.
New Mexico State Aggies Preview
2020 Record: 0-0
2020 ATS Record: 0-0
Head Coach: Doug Martin, 9th year, 23-64
It’s been a long wait, but the New Mexico State Aggies are finally going to play meaningful football after having their 2020 season canceled due to the global pandemic. The Aggies played two games last spring against a couple of FCS opponents, but coach Dough Martin took a relaxed approach to those and used the opportunity to work in players rather than going for wins. Since then, there’s been no season to speak of for New Mexico, and for that reason, it’s a bit of a challenge predicting what to expect from them in 2021.
Earlier this spring, the Aggies got two games to kickstart their preparations for the upcoming season. The result was a 1-1 record and included a lopsided 43-17 defeat by Tarleton State and a 36-29 win over Dixie State. Both offense and defense enjoyed their fair share of struggles in these spring games, which is the source of some concern that precedes New Mexico into the 2021 season. However, it’s likely behind the understated New Mexico odds currently trading too.
New Mexico State Players To Watch:
Doug Martin has several new players to contend with and not many veterans to the field. QB Jonah Johnson struggled against Tarleton State but played a more solid game against Dixie State. Overall, he had a touchdown and three picks over those two games. The receiving corps includes Terrell Warner, Cole Harrity, and Robert Downs. The secondary is a work in progress, with only OT Sage Doxtater returning from the 2019 class. At the same time, RBs Juwaun Price, Alex Escobar, and O’Maury Samuels (Michigan transfer) will be expected to step up.
UTEP Miners vs. New Mexico State Aggies Preview & Predictions
It’s clear that New Mexico State Aggies are at a disadvantage in more ways than one. The lack of football for over a year hurts them immensely as there’s no form to speak of or hang one’s hat on. The lack of competitive football can also lead to a lack of confidence, which will be a significant factor on and off the field. It doesn’t help either that coach Martin will be trying to break in new talent and work his players into game form at the same time. All this amounts to is just a lot of uncertainty and many unanswered questions, which isn’t an atmosphere conducive to betting. It’s the first game of the season, but can one trust the Aggies to deliver the upset at home?
Whichever way one slices this game, the advantage lies with UTEP – just as market operators have it; as such, this is a game that UTEP should take and quite comfortably as well. Moreover, there’s also a high probability that the Aggies may be overwhelmed in their first game in a long time, which could see this game crack the OVER in total betting.
|New Mexico State||+333||+10||U 52.5|
UTEP Miners vs. New Mexico Betting
The betting on this game is lopsided, with the public heavily leaning towards the UTEP Miners. But, of course, there are still a few days before kick-off, and late betting or sharp money can significantly impact the NCAAF odds and lines.
|Team||Spread||Public Betting %|
|New Mexico State||+10||33%|
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Nikki Adams is a freelance sports writer that’s honed in on the world of sports betting. She joined OddsChecker in 2021 after having covered a number of major American sports, including NFL and NCAAF, for several other publications in the industry. When she’s not looking for the best betting angles and writing engaging and insightful articles, she’s likely on a tennis court or binging on reality TV.