New Mexico vs UNLV Odds
There’s no better way to prepare for the Saturday slate than a Friday night game at Mountain West between UNLV and New Mexico.
This game was nothing short of entertaining, with the road team winning the last five games both outright and against the spread.
Four of those five road wins have been downright upset.
UNLV enters this game with a perfect 4-0 ATS this season, while New Mexico looks to rebound from a 38-0 loss to LSU.
With a win Friday night, New Mexico and third-year head coach Danny Gonzales can already cash in on their season win total (2.5).
Heading into the 2022 season, the focus for New Mexico was an improvement on offense.
Offensively, New Mexico can’t be much worse than their 2021 season, as they failed to score more than 17 points in 10 of their 12 games.
This year there hasn’t been a drastic improvement on the attacking side of the ball. Over the course of four weeks, the Lobos posted an overall offensive success rate of just 33%, with 3.4 points per scoring opportunity.
Quarterback Miles Kendrick, who was traded from Kansas in the offseason, continued the average quarterback game for the Lobos.
Kendrick threw for just 430 yards with a 57% completion percentage in four games.
Although New Mexico has its issues on the offensive side, the team’s style of play and pace has been enough to keep it going in every game this season, including covering until late in the third quarter. against a much more talented LSU team.
New Mexico ranks dead last in the country in games per minute and games per second. The Lobos are averaging just 1.81 plays per minute for an average of 225 per game.
By limiting offensive possessions, New Mexico was able to post a positive 2-1-1 ATS record this season despite its disappointing offense.
In addition to this slow style of play, defensive coordinator Rocky Long has built a defensive unit that prides itself on forcing opponents into slow, methodical scoring.
So far in 2022, New Mexico has been able to limit the success of teams in the air. Lobos defensive backs have a 10% damage rate – to go with a 20% pass completion rate – which helps limit their opponents’ big-play ability.
Additionally, New Mexico has a 39% defensive passing success rate against the pass, which is good for the national top 40.
Forcing the UNLV to launch a priority attack will limit the Rebels’ overall offensive holdings.
Against UTEP in Week 3, the Lobos managed to force seven turnovers. While that volume of turnovers is impossible to repeat, it says a lot about how Long wants this defensive unit to play.
Another factor that will limit UNLV’s possessions on Friday night includes where they start on offense.
Over four games, New Mexico was able to start opposing offenses on their own line for 27.1 yards, on average.
This ability to pin teams deep is another reason New Mexico has been able to limit their opponents’ offensive possessions.
On Friday night, the Lobos will be looking to stay in numbers, as they have done all season given their slow and methodical style of play on both sides of the ball.
After a disappointing 2-10 season in 2021, UNLV is off to an impressive 3-1 start under third-year head coach Marcus Arroyo.
Much of UNLV’s success came on the field thanks to junior running back Aidan Robbins, who posted an impressive 5.3 yards per catch and seven touchdowns.
Another bright spot for the Rebels offensively was quarterback Doug Brumfield, who posted a 162.5 rating all season long to go with a 69.8 percent completion percentage.
Additionally, Brumfield was relatively error-free, posting an 8:1 TD:INT ratio.
UNLV rushed the ball a total of 157 times, compared to just 126 total pass attempts. The Rebels rank third in the nation in EPA by Rush, which explains their tendency to favor the ground game.
That reliance on rushing will show up again Friday night against a New Mexico team that has more success in pass defense. UNLV ranks second in the nation for total line yards while New Mexico ranks 116th in defensive line yards.
I expect UNLV to keep the ball on the ground early and often Friday night given New Mexico’s strength against the pass. This reliance on the ground game will further limit possessions for each team.
Defensively, the UNLV is far from perfect. They’re an experienced group with nine of their top 11 returning tackles, but the Rebels’ opponents have managed to find success against this unit.
UNLV allowed opponents to produce an overall explosiveness of 1.39, which goes up to 2.04 when passing.
On top of that, the Rebels allowed 3.3 Line Yards per rush due to their 15% Stuff Rate against the run.
In a game where possessions will be so valuable, allowing that kind of explosiveness will hamper UNLV’s ability to cover the spread.
New Mexico vs. UNLV Game Analysis
Toggle the drop-down menus below to hide or show the statistical correspondence between New Mexico and UNLV:
New Mexico Offense vs. UNLV Defense
UNLV Offense vs. New Mexico Defense
Pace of play / Other
|SP+ special teams||112||41|
|Seconds per game||33.0 (131)||27.1 (79)|
|Peak rate||68.4% (6)||55.5% (52)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
New Mexico vs UNLV Betting Picks
Overall, I think that number is just too inflated considering how both teams want to play Friday night.
New Mexico will be looking to dominate possession time to keep the UNLV offense off the field.
Defensively, the Lobos will also strive to force UNLV into long, methodical scoring campaigns that rely heavily on rushing offense.
At the time of writing, UNLV is a 14.5 point favorite. Although UNLV has a clear advantage offensively, I think New Mexico will be able to do enough on both sides of the ball to turn this game into a slow-paced slugfest and ultimately stay in the numbers.