Coaching Shuffle Calls For Bet Against Utah State Vs. North Texas

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 1:27 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 1:27 PM UTC

Get the latest college football picks on the New Mexico Bowl between Utah State and North Texas. The game from Albuquerque, New Mexico is on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN. Bet confidently with tips from

<h2 style="text-align:center">New Mexico Bowl:</h2><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Game Odds">North Texas (9-3 SU, 4-8 ATS) vs. Utah State (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: Mean Green ATS</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=Bookmaker" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bookmaker</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3690876, "sportsbooksIds":[93,169,238,19,1096], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>North Texas is looking for both its first season with double-digit wins and its first bowl win under coach Seth Littrell, who is in his third year with the program. North Texas hasn’t won a bowl since 2013. Utah State coach Matt Wells has won a bowl with Utah State, but that was in 2014. After six years with the team, he has announced his departure and he won’t get a chance to lead Utah State to a bowl win. His announcement was such an emotional event that he met with every player individually to talk about it. To add insult to injury, Wells might take both his offensive and defensive coordinators with him to his new school, Texas Tech. Assistant head coach Frank Maile will serve as interim head coach.</p><p> </p><h2>How They Got Here</h2><p>Utah State had a fantastic season, finishing within a touchdown of Michigan State in the season opener and winning 10 straight games to become ranked 14th nationally. The Mountain West title game, however, ended in disappointment when they lost to Boise State. If they weren’t already struggling for motivation after Wells announced his departure, playing a Conference-USA school won’t help. The Mean Green enjoyed their second straight nine-win season and finished second in the C-USA West.</p><p>[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><p> </p><h2>Why Utah State Can Win/Cover</h2><p>The Aggies can score at will. They have the fourth-best scoring offense, averaging 44 points per game. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Love took a huge leap from his freshman year, improving his passer rating by 40 points. He completed 65 percent of his passes, threw for 3,200 yards, and achieved a 28:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He’s supported by two running backs who average more than six yards per carry. Michigan State’s top-ranked defense struggled with the Aggies’ tempo and yielded a season-high 38 points to them. The Aggies scored 40+ points in eight different games and their scoring prowess makes them an excellent candidate to cover a large spread because they can score extra touchdowns in a hurry. They are 7-2 ATS when favored by double digits.</p><p>The Mean Green have not seen an offense like Utah State. At best, they faced Florida Atlantic’s 52nd-ranked scoring offense and allowed 38 points.</p><p>[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><p> </p><h2>Why North Texas Can Win/Cover</h2><p>The Mean Green boast a special quarterback of their own. Mason Fine’s big improvement from last year was to cut down the number of interceptions thrown. He achieved a 27:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Part of his improvement came from the extra chemistry that he developed with his receivers. Five of six starting receivers returned from last year and three of them accrued more than 40 receptions and 500 yards. Utah State’s pass defense ranks highly, but it’s rather untested because many of Utah State’s Mountain West opponents — especially Wyoming and Colorado State — lost a star quarterback to the NFL. Utah State’s toughest quarterback faced was Boise State’s Brett Rypien, who completed 71 percent of his passes and threw for 310 yards and a touchdown.</p><p>On the flip side, Fine is well-tested. Against Louisiana Tech’s 21st-ranked pass defense and C-USA champion UAB’s 28th-ranked secondary, he threw for 300+ yards and three touchdowns. An extra reason to think that he’ll thrive against Utah State is that the Aggies lost two starting defensive backs for the season against Boise State and a backup of one of the lost starters is listed as "questionable." Utah State has failed to cover its last two games when allowing more than 300 passing yards.</p><p> </p><h2>Common Opponents/Series History</h2><p>Utah State faced a Power Five school, Michigan State from the Big Ten. North Texas did as well, Arkansas from the SEC. Both teams demolished the spread with Utah State coming close to an upset and North Texas winning by 27 points.</p><p> </p><h2>The Verdict</h2><p>I love to <a href="" title="Free NCAAF Picks">fade schools in bowl season who get deserted by their head coach</a>. Last year, this happened to Oregon, when Willie Taggart left for Florida State, and the Ducks lost to a Mountain West school. In 2016, an example of this was when Tom Herman left Houston, which was upset by San Diego State. When a beloved and successful coach leaves his team, the players lose motivation and become distracted by their emotions, which affects their ability to prepare for and concentrate on the upcoming game.</p><p>Matchup wise, Mason Fine is a solid quarterback and Utah State has yet to show that they can stop a solid quarterback. Fine and his plethora of good receivers will at least <a href="" title="Live NCAAF Odds">keep this game close</a>.</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="">New Mexico Bowl Trends &amp; Betting History</a></h2>
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