Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#149 New Mexico State vs.
#150 Minnesota
Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 9:00pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino

The New Mexico State Aggies (0-1, 0-1 ATS, 0-1 O/U) battle the Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-4, 7-4-1 ATS, 6-6 O/U) in a non-conference bout on Thursday night. The Aggies recorded a 2-10 record last season and lost to Nevada in the season opener last weekend. The Gophers went 8-4 last year including a 6-3 mark in Big Ten play. These foes last met in 2018 in a game Minnesota won 48-10.

New Mexico State Falls in Season Opener

The New Mexico State Aggies are in another rebuilding season after going 2-10 last year. They enter their second game of the season. The Aggies were labeled as seven-point dogs in a 23-12 home loss to Nevada last Saturday. The Aggies had another rough season in 2021 and have plenty of new players, especially on offense. 

The Aggies have a new look at QB. Freshman Gavin Frakes received a good portion of the playing time last week and collected 143 passing yards. Diego Pavia had a rough debut, tossing three interceptions. The program also lost the top rusher from 2021 on a transfer. It was another young player, this time sophomore RB Jamoni Jones leading all RBs with 28 rushing yards last week. Justice Powers brought in 74 receiving yards in the opener. The senior WR only had 167 yards all of last season. The Aggies' offense had a decent passing game last year but will probably struggle to score points as seen last week.

The New Mexico State defense struggled in a big way last season but was definitely effective last week, limiting the Wolf Pack to only 257 total yards. The pass defense ranked 128th last year while the rush defense was 110th in 2021, however, they gained plenty of experience and return many key players in the secondary.

The Aggies scored an average of 22.6 points in 2021, landing them 104th. The defense squandered an average of 40.4 points, pegging them 128th in the FBS.

Minnesota Primed for Big Season

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have a solid roster looking to build on last year’s eight wins. They had a few disappointing defeats in 2021 including a loss to Bowling Green earlier in the season but also collected notable wins including a triumph against Wisconsin late in the season. Minnesota was voted to finish 10th in the Big 10 preseason media poll.

The Gophers' passing offense was a big weakness last year. Tanner Morgan remains the #1 QB after recording 2044 passing yards and a subpar 10:9 TD to INT ratio in 2021. The program brought in their offensive coordinator from 2019 Kirk Ciarocca, to help improve the passing game. The Gophers' top two running backs transferred but have a potent RB in Mohamed Ibrahim who only played one game in 2021 due to injury. The senior RB posted over 1000 rushing yards in 2020. Minnesota also returns last year’s receiving leader Chris Autumn-Bell. The senior WR collected 506 yards.

The Golden Gophers' defense was the top strength last season. While they lost a few key pieces from that unit, the defense should be strong once again. Last year’s sack leader returns and they also brought in Darnell Jefferies on a transfer from Clemson. The pass defense ranked 10th while the rush defense was ninth.  

Minnesota averaged 26.1 points last year, ranking them 85th. The defense held foes to only 18.3 points, good for ninth in the FBS.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The New Mexico State Aggies are in for a rough season. They only won two games last year and lost in Saturday’s home opener against Nevada by a 23-12. score. The Aggies lost many key starters on offense. The Golden Gophers are a stellar team that has a good chance to win 10 games. This is a huge spread that is warranted. 

Furthermore, the Aggies will probably be one of the lowest scoring teams in the entire FBS and Minnesota has an outstanding defense. The Aggies only scored a total of 19 points in their two games against power conference foes last season. Also, Minnesota has an elite running back in Mohamed Ibrahim who will surpass 1000 yards if he stays healthy. New Mexico State ranked 110th against the run last year and allowed 179 rushing yards last week. Also, the Aggies have a new coach and it will take some time to find a groove.

Prediction: Minnesota Golden Gophers -37

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am going with the under in this one. Minnesota will pile on the points but NMSU will struggle to score more than 10 points. The Gophers' elite defense ranked 10th against the pass and 9th against the run last year. Last season, the defense shut out Colorado of the Pac-12, plus they held Indiana and Wisconsin to 14 and 13 points respectively. 

In addition, the Gophers are not a high-scoring team. They will have no problem solving the Aggies' defense but only attempted a pass in 32% of their plays last year and have a new OC. The under is also 4-1 in the Gophers’ last five home games.

Prediction: Under 52.5
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Written By Adam Rauzino , "Adam Rauzino"

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball, and football. He enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and being an expert sports bettor. Prior to bringing his talents here to Winners and Whiners, Adam graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance. You would do yourself a huge favor by following Adam on a daily basis.