New Mexico Bowl: UTEP at Fresno State - 12/18/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

New Mexico Bowl: UTEP at Fresno State - 12/18/21 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fresno State Bulldogs (9-3) vs UTEP Miners (7-5)

Game Info: Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 2:15 pm (University Stadium)

Betting Odds: Fresno State Bulldogs -17.5 -- Over/Under: 51.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Fresno State Bulldogs will take on the UTEP Miners on Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl on ABC. 

Fresno State enters as winners of two straight games after defeating San Jose State in their last game at the end of November. They were victorious in a 40-9 final. In that game, Quarterback Jake Haener threw for 4 touchdowns and not a single interception. He was 27 for 36 overall and had a QBR of 87.2.

This offense is led by Jake Haener, who threw for 3810 yards and 32 touchdowns, completing an impressive 67.5% of his passes. Haener has been impressive when it comes to taking care of the ball as he has thrown just nine interceptions in 449 pass attempts. 

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Fresno State averaged 463.8 yards per game which ranks 14th overall. They averaged 33.6 points per contest which ranked 28th in the nation. The defense is 32nd in the country in yards allowed per contest at 342.6, and 21st in points allowed at 20.3 per game.

The UTEP Miners are coming off of a 17 point loss to UAB in their last game. Gavin Hardison threw for 1 touchdown and 1 interception in the loss. He was 21 for 34 threw the air and had a QBR of 46.2.

Gavin Hardison had a solid season at the quarterback position, throwing for 2966 yards and 17 touchdowns. However, he completed just 56.0% of his passes and threw 12 interceptions

UTEP averaged 392.1 yards per game which was 71st in the country. They scored 25.2 points per game which ranks 89th overall. Defense was this teams calling card as they were 30th in yards allowed per contest at 339.4. The Miners allowed 24.8 points per contest, 53rd overall.

The Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Bowl games as a favorite and are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. CUSA. The Miners are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. Fresno definitely gets the win in this one. But I’m not sure if they can win by more than two touchdown. UTEP’s defense is too good and can keep this one close.

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Clayton’s Pick UTEP +17.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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