Take Road Favorite for Week 7 Picks: San Diego St./New Mexico

Darin Zank

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 5:16 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 5:16 PM GMT

Before making your Week 7 College Football pick, know that San Diego State is 4-0 SU in its last four games against New Mexico, but the Lobos are 5-0 ATS in the last five games in the series.

The Betting Odds
As of early this week, most of the college football betting market was holding off on lining this game because of the injury situation with San Diego State. More on that later. Those books that were offering early lines on this game were still chalking the Aztecs at -6 over the Lobos on College Football odds.

 

Aztecs-Lobos: The Situation
San Diego State began its fourth season under Coach Long, who led the Lobos for 12 seasons before coming here, with a 38-7 victory over Northern Arizona, covering as an 18-point favorite. The Aztecs then traveled cross-country and lost at North Carolina 31-27, but covered as 14-point dogs. They then lost at Oregon State 28-7, losing ATS at +10, and beat UNLV 34-17 but lost ATS at -18. Last week SD State lost at Fresno State 24-13, missing the cover at +3.5.

The Aztecs, playing without starting QB Quinn Kaehler, managed just 84 yards through the air last week, and committed three turnovers. They also allowed the Bulldogs to go 9-for-18 on third-down conversions.

New Mexico opened its third season under Coach Davie by getting upset at home by UTEP 31-24, losing outright as 10-point home favorites. The Lobos then lost at home to Arizona State 58-23, whiffing on the cover as 24-point home dogs. They then won at rival New Mexico State 38-35 but couldn't cover at -4, then lost to Fresno State 35-24 as six-point home dogs. They finally cashed in last week with a 21-9 upset victory at Texas-San Antonio, winning outright as 17-point dogs on the road.

New Mexico trailed the Roadrunners last week 9-0 in the third quarter, then scored the last 21 points of the game. The Lobos outgained UTSA 370-341, outrushed the 'Runners 283-112, won time-of-possession by a 32-28 margin and committed zero turnovers, while forcing two. That's how you cover a pointspread.

 

Aztecs-Lobos Recent History
Last year San Diego State beat New Mexico at Qualcomm Stadium 35-30, but the Lobos covered as 14-point road dogs. The Aztecs scored 15 seconds into the game and never trailed, but couldn't shake New Mexico, which answered almost every State score with one of its own, in securing the cover.

The Aztecs outgained the Lobos that night 483-423, but New Mexico outrushed San Diego State 253-249.

That game, 21-17 going into the fourth quarter, played 'over' its total of 58 when the Lobos scored a final touchdown with 46 seconds to go.

As mentioned above New Mexico covered last year's meeting as 14-point dogs; three years ago the Lobos lost this game 35-7 but covered as 35-point dogs; four years ago they lost 30-20 but covered at +23; and five years ago they lost this game 23-20 but covered at +16.

Before that Coach Long had led New Mexico to eight straight victories over San Diego State.

 

Injury Update
San Diego State QB Kaehler missed last week's game with a sore shoulder; his status for this week is uncertain. Aztecs WR Ezell Ruffin (68 catches, 1,100 yards last year) is out with a broken collarbone. And LB Derek Largent is out after having an appendectomy. On the other side of the ball New Mexico is down one starting offensive lineman and possibly two linebackers. So both teams are a little banged up, San Diego State a little more so.

 

Aztecs-Lobos Free Pick
New Mexico likes to run the ball, to the tune of 323 yards per game so far this season, but its defense has allowed foes to run for 262 YPG. And the Lobos seem like a candidate for a letdown this week, after last week's upset victory over UTSA. So despite the quarterback situation we'll give the points and go with Coach Long and his Aztecs for our free College Football pick on this contest.

Free College Football Pick:  San Diego Aztecs -5.5 at Bodog

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