The first ESPN college football broadcast of the new season – actually ESPN2 – is Saturday night as Nevada of the Mountain West visits independent New Mexico State. The Wolf Pack are nearly double-digit favorites on the NCAAF odds.
How to Bet Nevada at New Mexico State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info
- When: Saturday, 10 PM ET
- Where: Aggie Memorial Stadium
- TV: ESPN2
- Stream: ESPN+
- Radio: Tunein.com
- Opening NCAAF Lines: Nevada -8.5 (total 50.5)
Last MeetingLast year, Nevada rolled New Mexico State 55-28. Carson Strong threw a career-high six touchdown passes — four in the second quarter. Strong, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished 25-of-32 passing for 377 yards with one interception. Jonah Johnson completed 38 of 62 passes for 425 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for the Aggies. Nevada leads the overall series with New Mexico State, 13-2, and has won the past six meetings.
Why Bet on Nevada?Nevada was pretty good last year but lost a ton of talent led by maybe the best quarterback in school history in Carson Strong. He was named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year in 2021 as well as to the All-Mountain West First Team for the second consecutive year. He led the conference in touchdown passes (36) and passing yards (4,175) and set program records in single-season passing touchdowns and single-game completions (49).Highly regarded coach Jay Norvell left for Colorado State. Norvell went 33-26 after taking over at Nevada prior to the 2017 season. Ken Wilson has replaced him. The 57-year-old began his full-time assistant coaching career at Nevada in 1989 and spent the next 23 years with the Wolf Pack, either a defensive assistant or athletic administrator. Wilson spent the last nine seasons in the Pac-12, including six years at Washington State and the last three at Oregon, serving as co-defensive coordinator last season.Nevada’s offense will be led by the fifth-year running back combo of Toa Taua and Devonte Lee. Taua is a three-time Mountain West honoree (Freshman of the Year 2018, All-Mountain West Honorable Mention 2019, All-Mountain West Second Team 2020) who led the Wolf Pack with 732 rushing yards on 150 attempts with six touchdowns in 2021. Taua has rushed for 3,086 yards and 22 touchdowns over his career. He’s also been a threat through the air, catching 122 passes for 897 yards and three more scores. Last season, Lee appeared in all 13 games, rushing for 331 yards and five touchdowns on 85 attempts, while also catching 19 passes for 98 yards and another score.Nate Cox is expected to start at quarterback this year but is battling with Nevada’s other scholarship quarterbacks — Oklahoma State transfer Shane Illingworth, third-year Wolf Pack player Jake Barlage and true freshman AJ Bianco — for the job. Unlike last season, Nevada’s quarterback position will not be surrounded by overwhelming talent at the pass-catching positions. Wideout Romeo Doubs and Cole Turner are in the NFL, with the strength of Nevada’s offense shifting to the running backs.Including returning Nevada players who transferred in previously (prior to the 2021 season), Nevada’s 2022 roster consists of 19 transfers from FBS programs (11 Power Five, 8 Group of Five).The Wolf Pack are 7-0 against New Mexico State in Las Cruces, including a 48-34 victory in the most recent meeting between the teams, back on Oct. 29, 2011. Wilson was on that Wolf Pack staff that defeated the Aggies in 2011, serving as associate head coach and overseeing the defensive ends.
Why Bet on New Mexico State?NMSU is one of the worst programs in the country and comes off a 2-10 mark under ex-coach Doug Martin, who was fired. In nine seasons as the head coach, NMSU went 25-74 under Martin. He did, however, lead the Aggies to their first bowl win in nearly 60 years when NMSU beat Utah State in the Arizona Bowl in 2017.Replacing him is Jerry Kill, who had not been a full-time head coach since 2015. Epileptic seizures caused him to step down as Minnesota’s head coach. He took on an associate athletic director role at Kansas State in 2016, served as Rutgers’ offensive coordinator for part of the 2017 season before epileptic seizures forced him to step away from that job as well. Kill served as a special assistant to the head coach at Virginia Tech in 2019, then took the same job in 2020 at TCU. He was TCU’s interim head coach for some of last season when Gary Patterson stepped down.Kill enters the 2022 season as the eighth winningest active FBS coach. Kill trails just Nick Saban, Mack Brown, Brian Kelly, Kirk Ferentz, Willie Fritz, Chris Creighton, and Terry Bowden.NMSU does have a terrific linebacker in Chris Ojoh, who is on its watch list for the 28th Chuck Bednarik Award During the 2021 season, Ojoh started every game for the Aggies and finished second on the team with 71 tackles. Ojoh was the team lead in sacks (five), forced fumbles (three), and tackles for a loss (15). In NM State’s contest against No. 1 Alabama, Ojoh tallied 13 tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble. He’s one of seven returning defensive starters.Throughout the offseason, Diego Pavia and Gavin Frakes have battled for the No. 1 QB job and a starter will not be named until Saturday night. Jamoni Jones and Star Thomas are both still competing for the starting running back spot.
- Wolf Pack are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- Aggies are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 vs. MWC.
- Aggies are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in August.
- Over is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
- Nevada 30, New Mexico State 24