College Football Betting: New Mexico at Arizona State

College Football Betting:  New Mexico at Arizona State

It’ll be the Mountain West Conference against the Pac 12 on Friday night as Arizona State University welcomes the University of New Mexico to Tempe. Arizona State has been just below the top level of college football in the past few years–a good team, though not a great team. They enter this game on a 21-8 SU run but are just 13-16 against the spread during that timeframe. In the other corner, the New Mexico Lobos have been trying to find some consistently good play for years. Over the past three years they’re just 8-18 straight up and 13-13 against the spread. So far this season, both teams have a win and a loss. New Mexico opened the year with a blowout victory against overmatched Mississippi Valley State but lost by 19 at home to Tulsa as -6.5 point favorites. Arizona State lost their opener to Texas A&M before rebounding to beat Cal Poly last week though they were -35 point favorites and failed to cover the generous pointspread in the 35-21 win.

Scheduling Cal Poly was a great tactical move for Arizona State–it allows them to play teams that run the triple option offense in consecutive weeks. The triple option can be a very effective offense when run well by top flight athletes. New Mexico might not have that level of athlete, but even at its worst the triple option can be tricky to defend for teams that aren’t familiar with it. The Sun Devils will have had four quarters of defending it and that should negate any sort of advantage that New Mexico might have enjoyed by using their relatively uncommon attack.

But don’t forget that New Mexico doesn’t have to win this game–and at this price they don’t even need to come close. The Lobos have been a winning pointspread play away from Albuquerque during the last three seasons going 8-4 against the number. Arizona State has been a poor non-conference investment in that same timeframe going 3-7 ATS despite a 7-3 SU record. That suggests that this is a team that doesn’t bring their ‘A Game’ against substandard opponents and that could be the difference maker in this wager. Adding to the potential lack of focus–the Sun Devils have a huge game at home against hated conference rival USC next week.