UTEP vs. New Mexico College Football Picks: Home Fav to Cover

David Lawrence

Thursday, September 17, 2015 5:28 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 17, 2015 5:28 PM GMT

The UTEP Miners and New Mexico State Aggies are both 0-2 so far this season. How should bettors look at this matchup when placing their College Football Picks?

The UTEP Miners and New Mexico State Aggies are both 0-2 so far this season. This should not surprise anyone, since the Miners played a very tough schedule and New Mexico State has been a perennial doormat in major college football. UTEP has some injury concerns, as you’ll see below, and New Mexico State is the team which has come closer to winning a game this season, but that result came against a much weaker team. There are many ways you can look at this game, so it bears closer examination.

 

Momentum
The UTEP Miners made a bowl game last season but have not been able to translate that into momentum heading out of the gate in 2015. The Miners have given up 48 points to Arkansas, an offense which then scored only 10 points against Toledo the following week. UTEP, in its second game, conceded 69 points to Texas Tech and its aerial attack. UTEP has some serious questions to answer on defense, and while New Mexico State promises to be a much weaker opponent, the most basic pass coverage issues have to be solved by the time the Miners take the field for this game in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The New Mexico State Aggies almost won their most recent game, falling to Georgia State by a score of 34-32. The team showed promise on offense after getting shut down by Florida in the season opener. It’s clear that playing an SEC team sharpened up New Mexico State for the road ahead, but it still wasn’t enough to beat Georgia State, a team near the bottom of the Football Bowl Subdivision. More will be said on New Mexico State’s identity below, in the line movement section.

 

Line Moves
The College Football Betting Odds opened with UTEP as a four-point favorite but that has since dropped. There is a general belief that New Mexico State improved last week – even if it was against a soft opponent compared to Florida. Yes, UTEP has played two tougher teams and should be ready for this game, but they are also going to be short on confidence after getting shellacked by a combined score of 117-33.

 

Notable Injuries
UTEP has safeties Devin Cockrell and Ishmael Harrison out indefinitely with knee injuries. They missed each of the first two games of the season, which would explain the weak pass defense and the ability of opponents to score big numbers against the Miners. Starting running back Aaron Jones was injured against Texas Tech. He is doubtful for this game.

New Mexico State has running back Jermichael Selders listed as questionable for this game with a finger injury. Defensive back Kawe Johnson is questionable with a head injury. Offensive lineman Thomas McGwire is questionable with a knee injury, as is defensive lineman Kourtney Busby. Defensive end Kalei Auelua is out for the season with a knee injury. Quarterback King Davis III and defensive end Derek Watson are out for the season with shoulder injuries.

 

Handicapping The Game
It comes down to whether you believe in New Mexico State’s improvement or not. Given the Aggies’ sorry history in major college football, especially over the past decade, UTEP seems like the better choice for your College Football Picks here.

College Football Pick: UTEP -2.5 at BetOnline

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