Utah State had a terrific season under coach Matt Wells. So good, in fact, that Wells won’t coach the team in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday vs. North Texas. That’s because Wells has accepted the head coaching job at Texas Tech. Still, the Aggies are solid NCAAF Betting favorites.
Utah State vs North Texas 2018 New Mexico Bowl Spread & Prediction
- When: Saturday, 2 PM ET
- Where: Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- Radio: TuneIn
- 2018 New Mexico Bowl: USU -8 (66.5)
- Mostly Cloudy: 9°C/49°F
- Humidity: 22%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Cloud Cover: 65%
- Wind: 5 mph SSW
- Stadium Type: Open
Bowl HistoryThe New Mexico Bowl again features teams from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA. The leagues have been pitted against each other three times in the bowl game. Marshall’s win in 2017 gave C-USA its first win in the series, which is 2-1.These two programs have met seven times with the Aggies holding a 4-3 edge over the Mean Green. The two have not faced off since 2004 when North Texas won 31-23 in Logan.
Why Bet on Utah State?Utah State (10-2), is playing in its seventh bowl game in eight years. The team is looking for its first bowl win since the program was crowned champions of the 2014 New Mexico Bowl. The Aggies enter the postseason winning nine of their last 10 games. USU is one of the most prolific offenses in the nation, ranking top 20 nationally in scoring offense (3rd; 47.2), total offense (11th; 492.5) and passing offense (20th; 288.8).Utah State has already set school records this season with its 72 touchdowns and 566 points scored, bettering the previous marks of 60 touchdowns in 2011 and 454 points scored in 2012. The Mountain West record for points scored in a season is 608 by BYU in 2001.On the season, QB Jordan Love threw for 3,208 yards with 28 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He also added another six scores on the ground. Utah State finds its success by getting to the line quickly and playing extremely fast. If Love is completing passes at a good clip—which he did this year, as evidenced by his 65.8% completion percentage—then opposing defenses are going to get tired quickly.A victory will tie the Aggies’ single-season record for wins (11) and possibly lead to just the third AP Top 25 finish in school history. But they’ll have to do it under interim head coach Frank Maile, who is replacing Matt Wells, now at Texas Tech. Originally, Wells was going to be on the sideline for the game but now will not be.David Yost has been running practices and will be at the bowl game to call offensive plays. This is a big deal because for as good as the defense has been this year it has been the offense has been the star of the Aggie show.USU kick-returner Savon Scarver has been named an All-American. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore leads the nation in kickoff returns (34.2 ypr) and is tied for second with a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns.
Why Bet on North Texas?North Texas (9-3) is bowl-eligible for the third straight season after winning six of its first seven games to start the season. The Mean Green are making their first appearance in the Albuquerque-based Bowl game. The program’s last bowl victory came in 2014 against the Mountain West’s UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Overall, it is the program’s 11th bowl game with a 3-7 record in the postseason at the FBS level.A victory would give the Mean Green their first 10-win season since 1947 (not counting 1977, when they won nine and got a 10th by forfeit). Junior quarterback Mason Fine was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year. Fine becomes the fifth player in league history to win that distinction in back-to-back seasons.Fine is the first Mean Green player to win the award in back-to-back years, and last season was the first North Texas player to win the award since Jamario Thomas in 2004 in the Sun Belt Conference. Fine has completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 3,743 yards, 27 touchdowns, and only five interceptions.Fine ranks eighth in the nation in passing yards, eighth in passing yards per game (311.2), 14th in passing touchdowns, fifth in completions per game (24.58), and 10th in total offense (312.1 yards per game). Fine had the longest streak of pass attempts without an interception in the country (300). Fine is the UNT record holder in career passing yards (9,358) and has led the Mean Green to back-to-back nine-win seasons for the second time in program history (1977-78).The Mean Green is on pace to set a program record in points-per-game, at 36.4. The current record is 36.2, set in 1951. UNT also ranks within the top-25 nationally in 20 major team statistical categories heading into its bowl game.The defense took a major step forward in 2018 for North Texas, as it improved its points-per-game allowance by 13.2 ppg and ranked fifth in the country in interceptions with 17. This marks the first time since 2002-2004 that North Texas will play in a bowl game in three consecutive seasons.
Utah State vs North Texas 2018 New Mexico Bowl Betting Trends
- Mean Green are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss
- Mean Green are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- Aggies are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall
- Aggies are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss
- North Texas is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of North Texas’s last 10 games
- Utah State is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Utah State’s last 12 games