New Mexico St. vs

Fresno St.

at Albuquerque
Sat, Dec 16
2:45 PM Pacific
Rotation: 207
Odds: Fresno St. +4, Total: 51

Game Analysis

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New Mexico State (-4)  27   Fresno State  26

New Mexico State has had a great season, going 10-4 with a 21-point win at Auburn last month. Fresno, meanwhile, stumbles into bowl season off 3 straight losses and without their head coach Jeff Tedford, who has taken leave to deal with health issues. The market appears to have overreacted to recent results and the math and situation lean with Fresno here.

Bowl underdogs of 3 points or more coming off 3 or more losses are 21-11 ATS over the years and Fresno State applies to a 59-23-3 ATS bowl underdog situation that plays on teams the ended the regular season with an upset loss. Those trends tend to work when the math model also shows value, as they reflect the market overreacting to near term results. Fresno was 8-1 with wins over UNLV, Boise State and at Purdue before their recent skid and these teams are evenly matched based on the metrics from the entire season.

New Mexico State’s offense has an edge over the Fresno defense, as the Aggies have been 0.7 yards per play better than average for the season (6.8 yppl against teams that would allow 6.1 yppl to an average team). That attack isn’t quite as good without receiver Trent Hudson, who entered the transfer portal after ranking second on the team in receiving yards while averaging 9.0 yards per target in 13 games against FBS competition. Jonathan Brady was just ahead of Hudson in reception and receiving yards and averaged 10.0 YPT but the #3 targeted WR, Kordell David, averaging a pathetic 4.1 yards on 42 targets and he’ll likely be getting more targets with Hudson out. There are some productive receivers after David and the math worked out to an adjustment of just 0.25 yards per pass play, which equates to about 0.7 points. Quarterback Diego Pavia also lead the team in rushing and the Aggies averaged 6.3 yards per rushing play. Fresno’s run defense is better than the average defense that New Mexico State faced this season, but overall the Bulldogs’ stop unit is 0.2 yppl worse than average. I project 6.1 yprp, 6.9 yppp and 402 yards at 6.5 yppl for the Aggies’ attack in this game (which included the forecast of low winds).

Fresno State’s offense struggled this season, rating at 0.6 yppl worse than average, and they’re a bit worse without starting left tackle Jacob Spomer, who was lost for the season to injury in week 11. Fresno’s starting quarterback Mikey Keene is healthy again and will be the man with backup Logan Fife in the transfer portal. The two were nearly identical in compensated yards per pass play. New Mexico State is 0.4 yppl worse than average defensively after adjusting for their outlier game against Liberty (714 yards on 10.5 yppl allowed) and the Bulldogs are projected to gain 368 yards at 5.6 yppl.

The difference in projected total yards (33 in favor of NMSU) justifies the current line but Fresno State has good special teams and the math favor the Aggies by just 2 points. The situation favors Fresno a bit (worth about ½ a point). I don’t see enough value to play either side here, but I’d rather have the dog.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • New Mexico St.
  • Fresno St.


  • Run Plays 32.4 30.7
  • Run Yards 205.0 169.0
  • YPRP 6.3 5.5


  • Pass Comp 16.0 19.8
  • Pass Att 26.6 31.2
  • Comp % 60.1% 63.3%
  • Pass Yards 212.6 238.9
  • Sacks 1.4 2.2
  • Sack Yards 7.7 14.1
  • Sack % 4.9% 6.7%
  • Pass Plays 28.0 33.5
  • Net Pass Yards 204.9 224.8
  • YPPP 7.3 6.7


  • Total Plays 60.4 64.2
  • Total Yards 409.9 393.8
  • YPPL 6.8 6.1


  • Int 0.7 0.5
  • Int % 2.6% 1.5%
  • Fumbles 0.4 0.4
  • Turnovers 1.1 0.8
  • Points 28.7 21.8
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