The New Mexico Lobos (2-2, 2-1-1 ATS, 1-3 O/U) battle the UNLV Rebels (3-1, 4-0 ATS, 2-2 O/U) in MWC action on Friday night. The Lobos are 2-2 on the season after a road loss to LSU last week. The Rebels continued their strong play in a decisive road win against Utah State in their previous bout. UNLV posted a 31-17 win against New Mexico last season.
Lobos Shutout by LSU, Target First Conference Win
The New Mexico Lobos are seeking their first conference victory. They were 17-point dogs in a 31-14 home loss to Boise State in their MWC opener in week two. New Mexico easily defeated UTEP of the C-USA in the next one and was labeled huge 32-point dogs in a rough 38-0 road loss against LSU last week. The Lobos have covered the points in two of their four games.
The Lobos do not pass often. QB Miles Kendrick has yet to reach 200 passing yards in a game and isn’t very mobile either. The senior QB has 426 passing yards along with a 3:3 TD to INT ratio. Nathaniel Jones recorded 83 rushing yards in a win against UTEP. The sophomore RB hasn’t generated yards with any consistency, amassing 128 rushing yards on 3.6 yards per rush.
Luke Wysong has made at least three receptions in all four games and now leads the team with 14 receptions, resulting in only 104 receiving yards. The New Mexico offense has relied on the running game but has a difficult task against a good rush defense. Their season-best output was 27 points against UTEP.
The Lobos' defense has been stellar. They posted a shutout in the opener and held UTEP to only 10 points two weeks ago. The defense was exploited by LSU which was to be expected against the SEC opponent. The pass defense is 85th while the rush defense is tabbed 37th.
New Mexico is scoring an average of 20.5 points, pegging them 112th. The defense is conceding an average of only 19.8 points, positioning them 41st in the FBS.
Rebels Seek Third Straight Win
The UNLV Rebels are playing with confidence. They only have one loss which occurred on the road against California of the Pac-12. They beat North Texas 58-21 in week three and were three-point favorites in a convincing 34-24 road win against Utah State in their MWC opener last week. The Rebels have covered the spread in all four games.
Doug Brumfield is very efficient. The sophomore QB has recorded 990 passing yards accompanied by a stellar 8:1 TD to INT ratio and has added 123 yards on the ground. The Rebels have a stellar running game led by Aidan Robbins. The junior RB had a whopping 227 rushing yards against North Texas and has collected 427 rushing yards on 5.3 yards per carry.
Rebels top receiver Ricky White did not make any catches last week. The sophomore WR had 182 yards in the season opener against Idaho State and leads the squad with 317 receiving yards. The UNLV offense has scored at least 34 points in three of their four games.
The Rebels' defense is looking strong as well. They are allowing 362 total yards per game but are making big plays highlighted by four interceptions against Utah State last week. The pass defense is pegged 112th however the rush defense is 30th.
UNLV is posting an average of 39.5 points on the season, landing them 25th. The defense is allowing an average of 23 points, placing them 60th in the FBS.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The New Mexico Lobos are playing outstanding defense. They held UTEP to only 10 points two weeks ago. Last week was a difficult result, but it was to be expected against SEC foe LSU. The Rebels are playing well, no doubt, but this is a large spread for a conference game.
Furthermore, the Rebels' offense will run more than pass and this is ideal for a New Mexico defense that strives against the run. They are limiting opponents to 111 rushing yards per game, ranking them 37th in the FBS in rush defense. Also, I expect the Lobos offense to break out. They have played against strong defensive teams so far, however, the Rebels' defense can be solved. They have squandered at least 20 points in all four games which will make covering this large spread difficult.
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is a strong play. New Mexico hasn't been scoring many points however this total has taken that into account. Their stats don’t look great on paper because they played a strong Boise State defense in the conference opener followed by LSU last week. The Lobos' offense scored 27 points against UTEP two weeks ago. This is important considering that was the UTEP team just beat Boise State by a 27-10 score.
In addition, the Lobos rarely pass and will have longer possessions as a result. They attempt the pass in only 40% of their total offensive plays which is one of the lowest you will see. UNLV will give up yards in the air but have a good rush defense that ranks 30th. The over is also 7-3 in the Rebels' last 10 games.