UMass vs New Mexico State Prediction - College Football Picks 8/26/23

New Mexico State Aggies (0-0) vs Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 7:00 pm (Aggie Memorial Stadium)

Betting Odds: New Mexico State Aggies -7 -- Over/Under: 25.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The UMass Minutemen will make the trip down to Las Cruces to take on the New Mexico Aggies this Saturday from Aggie Memorial Stadium on ESPN. New Mexico State won last year’s contested meeting, 23-13. 

Matchup/League Facts

  • New Mexico State ranked 21st among FBS teams for Q4 points allowed per game last season (4.9).
  • New Mexico State ranked T26th among FBS teams for H2 points allowed per game last season (10.5).

UMass Minutemen Preview

UMass went 1-11 during the 2022 season, with a 5-7 record against the spread. Don Brown returns for his second year at the helm, and the Minutemen will look to surpass the 1-win mark for this first time since 2018. 

• Brady Olson will return behind center for UMass. The sophomore quarterback showed small signs of improvement down the stretch, but he turned the ball over in five of his final six starts. Olson only passed for 791 yards through nine appearances, with two touchdowns to eight interceptions. 

• Kay’Ron Adams returns as the leading rusher after gaining 297 yards on the ground last season. 

• George Johnson III is UMass’ leading returning receiver at 28 catches for 402 yards and a score.

Massachusetts Minutemen Team Facts

  • Massachusetts has lost each of its last 21 road games against non-AP-ranked teams.
  • Massachusetts has failed to cover the spread in seven of its last eight road openers.
  • Massachusetts has lost the first half in 21 of its last 23 games against non-conference opponents.
  • Four of Massachusetts' last five road games against non-AP-ranked teams have gone UNDER the total points line.

New Mexico State Preview

New Mexico State went 7-6 last season, and posted a 8-5 record against the spread. Jerry Kill returns for his second season in charge, and the Aggies will look for similar success in their first year as members of Conference USA.  

• Diego Pavia returns as the starter for NMSU. The senior quarterback found his stride after a successful outing against UMass at the mid-season three, and led the Aggies to a seven-win season. Pavia passed for 194 yards and two scores in that matchup, and he passed for 1,283 yards with eleven touchdowns to five interceptions for the season. The Albuquerque native also added 443 yards and six scores on the ground.

Star Thomas and Jamoni James will likely receive the majority of the backfield work again this season. Thomas led the way with 472 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while Jones gained 368 yards and scored six times.

• Kordell David scored a touchdown in three of the last five games, and he gained 289 receiving yards on 19 catches last season.

New Mexico State Aggies Team Facts

  • New Mexico State has lost each of its last six games in August.
  • New Mexico State has covered the spread in eight of its last nine games as a favorite against non-AP-ranked teams.
  • New Mexico State has won the first half in four of its last five home games against non-conference opponents.
  • New Mexico State has won the first quarter in four of its last five home games against non-conference opponents.
  • Each of New Mexico State's last five season openers have gone UNDER the total points line.

Corey’s Free Pick

New Mexico State revitalized their program with the coaching of Jerry Kill and the QB play of Diego Pavia, and I believe they pick up right where they left off. NMSU returns a good chunk of last year’s production, and this should be a very light matchup for them at home. This one has slight blowout potential, and should come down to a matter of the Aggies preventing fourth quarter scoring, so let’s back them at home for this Week 0 contest.

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

Mitch's Take...

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