This Mountain West contest should see a lower final score in the end than the oddsmakers are listing; play the Lobos and Cowboys on the low side Saturday in Laramie.
This play sets up nicely thanks to both New Mexico and Wyoming being involved in higher scoring games than expected last week.
New Mexico stayed inside the inflated pointspread at Texas Tech, scoring 28 points in the process. That game produced 76 points, sailing over the posted total of 56. Prior to that contest, the Lobos had been held to 6, 10, 13, and 17 points in their first four games this season.
Donovan Porterie may bring plenty of experience to the table, but he's by no means an efficient quarterback. Through five games the senior has thrown for only 846 yards, completing 59% of his passes for three touchdowns and three interceptions. He can't shoulder all of the blame, as he isn't surrounded by a wealth of talent. The Lobos have also had a tough time moving the football on the ground, averaging just over 105 rush yards per game on 3.8 yards per rush.
I expect the Lobos' offense to struggle again in this spot. Despite allowing over 28 points per game, Wyoming has actually been fairly solid on the defensive side of the ball at home this season. Through three games as hosts, the Cowboys have limited their opposition to 4.1 yards per rush and 6.6 yards per pass play. That's despite facing a pair of explosive offenses in Texas and UNLV.
Wyoming has scored exactly 30 points in each of its last two contests, but I don't expect them to hang another crooked number on the board this week. This qualifies as a letdown spot for the Cowboys after back-to-back outright underdog wins over UNLV and Florida Atlantic. The Cowboys had scored only 39 points in their first three games of the season.
Their passing game has come around under the guidance of freshman QB Austyn Carta-Samuels, but in order to be effective through the air, the Cowboys need to run the football. New Mexico has actually been stout against the run this season, holding opponents to just 3.5 yards per rush. If the Cowboys can't get their ground game rolling early, Carta-Samuels could be in for a long day.
New Mexico has put up awful defensive numbers so far this season, but the Lobos have also faced a difficult schedule, going up against the likes of Texas A&M, Tulsa, Air Force, and Texas Tech. They caught a breather along the way in the form of New Mexico State, and performed well defensively in that game, holding the Aggies to just 20 points on 218 total yards of offense.
This has been an under series in recent years, with five of the last six matchups totaling 29 points or less. Last year it was New Mexico walking away with a 24-0 victory. That game featured only 551 total yards of offense. In fact, the losing team has been held to 10 points or less in five of the last six meetings.
Because the Lobos and Cowboys have been involved in shootouts in recent weeks, the oddsmakers have no choice but to set this total in the high-40s. I believe the number is at least a field goal too high, so I'll recommend a play on the under. Take the under.
Free Pick: New Mexico-Wyoming Under 48 (-110)