August 25, 2018
There is one College Football pick tonight.
Take Wyoming -4 spread against New Mexico State risking 3% of the bankroll.
One might expect the Wyoming Cowboys to take a step back this season after losing Josh Allen as the number 7 pick in the recent NFL draft and there is no question that a lot of people will be looking to fade Wyoming in their season opener, the reality is, Wyoming's offense can only get better. Wyoming was only one of five teams among the 129 in FBS to average fewer than 290 total yards per game in the 2017 season! Tyler Vander Waal will be taking over the starting job and while he is only a redshirt freshman, the consensus is not only will be a suitable replacement for Allen, but that he is likely to surpass him in terms of talent. We believe the offense will take a step forward this season.
Despite a new quarterback filling in, the strength of Wyoming is clearly a defense that returns eight starters and their 6 top tacklers from a season ago. The Cowboys' defense allowed just 17.8 points per game (13th in the nation) and only 4.7 yards per play (23rd in the nation). The Cowboys also led FBS by a relatively wide margin with 38 takeaways and with a turnover margin of +24, comfortably ahead of the 32 takeaways and +17 turnover margin that placed 13-0 UCF second in each category.
New Mexico State will also be breaking in a new quarterback this season and we believe the loss of Tyler Rogers is going to hurt them more than the loss of Allen for Wyoming. Rogers was the catalyst of the Aggies offense a season ago, completing 62% of his passes for more than 4,000 yards with a solid 27-18 TD-INT ratio. He also had 7 rushing touchdowns. That is some big production that needs to be filled. Not only does New Mexico State lose Rogers, but they also lost their top wide out, Jaleel Scott, and dynamic running back in the offseason. The Aggies will also be breaking in new faces on the offensive line, which could prove costly against a Wyoming pass rush which lives in their opponent’s backfield a season ago.
While New Mexico State will likely improve as the season progresses, there are simply too many new pieces for this team to put in place to expect cohesion against an NFL caliber defense. One always has to be leery about backing a road favorite at night on a nationally televised game and there is almost always some value on the home underdogs, however, we feel that the publicity around Josh Allen leaving the program will likely skew the perception of this Wyoming team and make a lot of the betting public back New Mexico State. This will likely be a close, defensive battle as both teams break in new signal callers, however, we feel the Wyoming defense will come up big in the second half which will swing the momentum of this game. Unless a backdoor cover happens late, we see Wyoming pulling this one out by 6+ points tonight.
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