The UNLV Rebels (6-2 / 3-1) Albuquerque to face the New Mexico Lobos (1-3 / 3-5 ) in a Mountain West clash that UNLV needs to win if they have any hope of catching Air Force and Fresno State with four games left. The Rebels lost on the road, 31-24, but did cover the 10.5 points against the Bulldogs.
Oddsmakers made New Mexico a 1-point road favorite at Reno but never challenged after falling behind 24-0 at the half. Current college football betting lines have the Rebels as a 10-point road favorite with a total of 61. The Rebels are 7-1 ATS in 2023, the Lobos are 4–4. Let’s begin our UNLV Rebels vs New Mexico Lobos free pick preview by looking at both teams from a betting perspective.
(6-2 / 3-1) | (3-5 / 1-3)
Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Day/Time: Saturday, 6:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. PT
Television: Mountain West Network
UNLV Rebellious Against Naysayers
UNLV Football was supposed to be something to do until basketball season started, but Head Coach Barry Odem was able to do something that hadn’t been done since 2013, get this program to a bowl game and perhaps win one for the first time since 2000 when John Robinson was patrolling the sidelines. Unlike past teams, this is a run-first offense under the former Arkansas coach.
The Rebels are 12th in the nation in rushing attempts (42.9) and that success has allowed them to rush 203 yards per game (18th). This NCAAF team can pick up steam if they would limit the penalties, but that happens with a growing program. In spite of their troubles, you knew the program was growing because of their 19-10 ATS record over the last three college football seasons, including their 6-1 mark against FBS teams this year.
This week provides a new set of obstacles to overcome with this being just the fourth time they’ve been a road favorite according to College Football betting lines since 2016, in fact, between 2017 and 2021 UNLV wasn’t listed as a road favorite once. We continue our UNLV vs New Mexico free pick preview with a deeper look at the Lobos.
Lobos Can Attack Rebels Secondary
It’s not the biggest game on the NCAA schedule today, but there is some reason to think the Lobos can keep it close. The glaring weakness for UNLV which has been for what seems like a decade is their secondary. UNLV allows 13.7 yards per completion (124th) and 8.2 yards per attempt (118th).
The Lobos are in the early stages of forming a competitive program but they have done some damage with an offense that is as balanced as you would expect from a 3-5 team. With signal caller Dylan Hopkins, you don’t have a kid that going to complete many passes for a high percentage but does average 13.38 yards per completion.A key factor to consider against the Rebels secondary.
Unlike UNLV, New Mexico has covered just 6 of its last 28 decisions (-16.49 units) and is 6-16-1 ATS as an underdog in that span. It doesn’t get any better at home where the Lobos are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
We conclude our UNLV vs New Mexico free pick preview with a look at a few numbers and injuries before making our selection.
Injuries and Numbers To Take Into Account
Neither team comes in with recent significant injuries so that won’t be a factor in our handicap of this game. When analyzing the Rebels statistically it’s incredible how consistent they’ve been in all four quarters when it comes to putting up points. They rank no less than 49th in points per quarter (3rd, 7.1 PPG) and peak in the fourth with 9.6 points per game (19th nationally).
That will present a problem for the Lobos because there is a significant drop in production from the second quarter on. That appears to be a team that gets worn out quickly. It is important for the Lobos to play with the lead by attacking the Rebel secondary early and often.
Oddsmakers Have It Right
While UNLV will try to climb back up among the teams fighting for national respect and perhaps a spot in the NCAAF rankings at the end of the year, the Lobos will hope to show that their loss to the Wolfpack will be used as motivation Saturday. New Mexico isn’t as bad as they showed but for us, it’s the total that has our interest.
After opening at 61.5, the public bet it down to 60 behind 83% of the money. We agree with that move and are recommending the under, breaking the Lobos 4-game over streak. We think this NCAAF game will sit in the 50’s. That does it for our UNLV vs New Mexico free pick preview, we wish you all the best with your wagers this weekend.