2018 New Mexico Bowl Betting - North Texas vs. No.21 Utah State

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D.S. Williamson

December 12th, 2018

The 2018 New Mexico Bowl betting matchup will once again help kickoff the post-season, and the ranked Utah State Aggies are one of the largest favorites on the entire schedule. It's been a strong run for the Aggies thus far, and they'll look to punctuate the season on a high note while getting us excited for the month of action to come.

The #21 Utah State Aggies take their formidable 10-2 record into the New Mexico Bowl to face the tough North Texas Mean Green on Saturday, Dec. 15. The Mean Green finished behind Middle-Tennessee State and Alabama-Birmingham in Conference-USA while Utah State’s only two losses were to Mountain West power Boise State and Big Ten team Michigan State in Week 1.

North Texas is going to try and prove themselves on a big stage. The Mean Green beat both SMU and Arkansas this season and it wasn’t even close. Utah State is on a whole other planet comparatively and the 2018 New Mexico Bowl betting line reflects that.

Which team takes it in one of the first battles this College Bowl Season?

2018 NEW MEXICO BOWL BETTING North Texas Mean Green vs #21 Utah State Aggies Saturday, December 15th – Dreamstyle Stadium – 2:00pm ET Odds: Utah State -9 (66.5)

North Texas Ready to Sneak Up on Favored Aggies

North Texas has become one of the more successful non-Power 5 college football programs by recruiting talent on both sides of the ball. The Mean Green is excellent at moving the football through the air and on the ground. They average over 300 passing yards and over 150 rushing.

On the other side, UNT has developed a 'bend but don’t break' philosophy that’s allowed the Mean Green to stay in games until the fourth quarter. Most opponents don’t go for more than 360 total yards while North Texas holds those opponents to under 22.

North Texas only played as a dog twice this season, a +1.5 underdog against Alabama-Birmingham and a +5.5 dog versus Arkansas. The Mean Green have a chance to sneak up on their more highly touted opponent in the 2018 New Mexico Bowl.

Ranked Utah State Looks for Exclamation on Successful Season

Nobody believed the Utah State Aggies would have the season it’s had. Ever since Week 1 when they pushed Michigan State in a 31-38 loss as a +23.5 dog, Utah State has rolled much to the delight of their backers who are probably a bit nervous about this 2018 New Mexico Bowl betting line.

The Aggies ran off 10 straight before running into perennial MWC champion Boise State. A few of the wins turned heads. Utah State beat BYU, Wyoming, and Hawaii on the road. USU can cap their successful season with a win over North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl.

Like North Texas, Utah State uses a similar defensive philosophy. Opponents average 23 points versus the Aggies. Unlike North Texas, the Aggies pummel opponents with 47 points per. Their more gifted offense could lead to both a win and cover.

2018 New Mexico Bowl Betting Analysis

The line’s fallen a full 2 points after opening at -11. It’s hard to understand why. Most trends favor Utah State.

The Aggies are 4-0 ATS  in their last 4 non-conference games, 9-3 ATS in their last 12 overall, and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 following a straight up loss. The Mean Green are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 on grass, 0-4 ATS versus a team with a winning record, and 0-5 ATS in their last 5.

North Texas has also gone 4-8 ATS overall and 1-7 ATS in their last 8. Familiarity could have something to do with why handicappers back the Mean Green. Utah State doesn’t know North Texas that well and could have trouble moving the football.

But, it’s hard for me to look past how Utah State averages close to 50 points per. The Mountain West was a decent conference this season. The Aggies proved right away in Week 1 that it could battle good football teams. I’ll lay the points.

2018 New Mexico Bowl Betting Free Pick: Utah State -9