Arizona Bowl – New Mexico State Aggies vs. Utah State Aggies
Date and Time: Friday, December 29, 2017, 5:30 p.m. ET
Location: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Opening Arizona Bowl Odds: Utah State -3, O/U 61
Arizona Bowl TV Coverage: CBS Sports Network
New Mexico State is coming into this bowl game with a lot of excitement surrounding the program and the team is relatively healthy and eligible. Head coach Doug Martin said to the Las Cruces Sun-News that everyone that can go to the game is going. "We are taking everyone on the team who made it," Martin said about play eligibility. "It's great that we have that."
New Mexico State went 6-6 SU and 6-5-1 ATS this season. They averaged almost 30 points per game and gave up just over 30 points per contest. They actually went under in seven of their 12 games this season. New Mexico State has a potent passing attack that was 4th in the country, averaging 352.6 yards per game. Quarterback Tyler Rogers threw for 3,825 yards this season.
Utah State went 6-6 SU and 6-6 ATS. They averaged 31 points per game and gave up 27 per contest. They went over in nine of their 12 games this season. Utah State was balanced, as they averaged 223.7 yards per game through the air and 170.1 yards per game on the ground. The Aggies were solid against the pass this season, giving up just 181.8 yards per game but they were awful against the run, giving up 219.9 yards per game.
The underdog is 10-4 ATS in the last 14 meetings between New Mexico State and Utah State. New Mexico State is 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. They are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games on grass. Utah State is 2-9 ATS in their last 11 vs. the Sun Belt. They are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games on grass.
The Over is 22-8 in New Mexico State’s last 30 non-conference games. The Over is 35-17-1 in their last 53 games on grass. The Under is 20-9 in Utah State’s last 29 games on grass.
Arizona Bowl Free Picks
I am really surprised at the line move on this game at top online sportsbooks, as the number has gone from Utah State -3 to Utah State -4. The move on the total is not a surprise, as it has moved from 61 to 62. I think both the side and the total are worth playing in this contest. These teams look very evenly matched, as they both went 6-6 on the season. There is no question that New Mexico State is going to have a huge edge in crowd support and in a close game that can be a factor. I will take the points with New Mexico State in a game I think they can win outright. I also think the total is worth playing, as neither of these teams has a defense. They both allowed a lot of points per game and I can’t see either offense getting slowed down. I expect this total to go higher before game day, as it would not surprise me to see it move to 63 or 64. As of this writing the number is 62 and I will take the game over that number. This could also be a good bowl game to make a parlay and take New Mexico State plus the points and the game over the total.
Arizona Bowl ATS Pick: New Mexico State +4 and Over 62 at BookMaker.eu
Arizona Bowl Score Prediction: New Mexico State 38, Utah State 31