The LSU Tigers (2-1) will host the New Mexico Lobos (2-1) on Saturday. The Tigers are a 31.5-point favorite, and the total is 45, which implies it'll be challenging for the Lobos to get more than a touchdown in this game.
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New Mexico has the odds stacked against themThe New Mexico Lobos went 3-9 last season and brought back five starters on offense and seven on defense. Not much was expected from this program as they received by far the fewest votes in the preseason media poll, pegging them to be 12th amongst all teams in the MWC.
The Lobos have been respectable to start this season. They took down Maine 41-0 in their home opener. They lost their conference opener 31-14 against Boise State but beat UTEP 27-10 last week. The Lobos will now head on the road for their next two games, with their biggest test yet waiting for them in Baton Rogue.
For the average football fan, New Mexico isn't going to be the most exciting team to watch. The Lobos offense is 122nd in total yards, with a passing attack 123rd with 126.3 yards per game and 74th with 160 passing yards per game. Their defense has been strong, holding their opponents to 263.3 yards per game which is 15th. They are 11th allowing 75 rushing yards per game, and 35th allowing 188.3 passing yards.
Tune up for LSUThe LSU Tigers are off to a 2-1 start in the first year under Brian Kelly. After losing a wild 24-23 season opener to Florida State on a missed extra point, the Tigers have beaten Southern 65-17 and Mississippi State 31-16. The Tigers outgained the Bulldogs 417 to 289 in total yards last week and held the potent Bulldogs passing attack to 214 yards.
The Tigers racked up 207 yards on 5.4 yards per attempt and three touchdowns. Jayden Daniels went 22 for 37 with 210 yards and one touchdown. He also led the rushing with 93 yards and another score. On the season Daniels, who transferred from Arizona State, has completed 69.5% of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions. He also leads the team with 225 rushing yards and is second with two scores on the ground.
The NCAA placed LSU's football program on one year of probation and issued a three-year show cause against a former assistant coach, who it says admitted to meeting with a prospect and giving him team gear during a COVID-19 recruiting dead period. https://t.co/Lgo7mhCYtx— ESPN (@espn) September 22, 2022
LSU is 55th in the nation averaging 438.3 yards per game. They are 69th with 246.3 passing yards and 52nd with 192 rushing yards. The defense is 36th holding teams to 314.3 yards per game, 27th allowing 178.3 passing yards per game, and 66th allowing 136 rushing yards per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Even with a lackluster offense, New Mexico is 38th in the nation in time of possession and LSU is 80th. The New Mexico Lobos rely on the run, which is an extreme opposite of what the Tigers faced last week against Mississippi State. Southern University however was able to pick up 201 rushing yards on 4.8 yards per carry against the Tigers this season, which gives me confidence that the Lobos will be able to actually put together get some long successful possessions, at least when it comes to keeping the ball away from LSU. With a low total, one score could be enough for New Mexico to cover. I don't love this play as I actually project LSU to win this game by 31 points, but as long as the hook is there, I'll take New Mexico.
Full-Game Total Pick
Whether it's due to a style LSU has not yet faced or long methodical drives, I see the Lobos getting a score in this game, maybe even two, and if that happens this one should go over with ease.
LSU will get some quicker scores, as New Mexico's defense will not be able to contain the playmakers that LSU has. Jayden Daniels is a dangerous dual threat QB, Aromi Goodwin is averaging 6.7 yards per carry, and wide receivers Malik Nabers and Brain Thomas Jr. have the potential to break off a long touchdown at any time. LSU could get to 45 points alone in this game if that's what they care to do, so I can't take the under with a total this low. Late in the game, I wouldn't be surprised in New Mexico tries some ill-advised pass plays to get back into this, leading to field position and points for LSU.
I will take the over, and expect a 41-10 LSU victory.