NCAAF FREE PICKS
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New Mexico State vs. UTEP:
El Paso, Texas, hosts the Battle of I-10 late Saturday night. This will mark the 99th time these two programs have met on the football field. Presently, UTEP is ahead in the series with 58 wins to NMSU's 38 wins. Somewhere along the series, there have been two ties as well. Although the total stayed low last year in a 30-3 UTEP victory, expect UTEP to put up big numbers as they have a superior offense.
Starting the year at Minnesota was difficult for a team in NMSU, turning the page towards a new era with new Head Coach Jerry Kill. Coach Kill has been plagued by health concerns in years past but has shown grit and fight. He plans to pass those qualities onto his Aggie football team by instilling the same values he has applied to his life. If the Aggies look to make positive strides relating to years of lack of success, Jerry Kill is the guy to usher in a new era of Aggie football. For NMSU on offense, there is not much to be said. The Aggies will struggle to put up points on a UTEP defense that was one of the best in Conference USA last year.
Getting in the way of Aggie's offense is UTEP NFL prospect defensive end Praise Amaewhule who came into the 2022 season leading UTEP last year in thirteen tackles for loss. In addition, Amaewhule ranked 22nd nationally in forced fumbles. If dealing with Amaewhule isn't enough, Jadrian Taylor will provide even more problems for the Aggies. I predict that the UTEP defense will play a significant factor in helping the UTEP offense score early and often. Look for the UTEP defense to even have a score of their own.
UTEP's offense was somewhat disappointing in their loss to North Texas. Much was expected out of their returning quarterback Gavin Hardison. One of the most experienced quarterbacks in Conference USA, Hardison brings a wealth of experience that should shine Saturday night. Look for Hardison to display his throwing ability, but more importantly, look for the UTEP Miners to establish the run and finish the Aggies off in the air.
Although it might be hard for the NMSU Aggies to score Saturday night, I look for them to score at some point in this football game (possibly when UTEP throws its defensive reserves in). That should tip the total over 46.5 points scored. With UTEP having the ability to score on offense and defense, look for a final score to resemble 42-10 as the UTEP Miners secure the victory.
PICK: NMSU/UTEP Total Over 46.5 (-115) at FanDuel Sportsbook.
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