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New Mexico Bowl
BYU vs. UTEP
Betting Line: BYU -11.5o/u 50
The Bowl season kicks off on December 18th and the very first game features two former conference opponents, BYU and UTEP. It's not a game we are particularly interested in from a betting standpoint, but we will offer an opinion just the same. It has the potential to be an exciting game and could be a great start to the Bowl season.
It's a matchup that has two teams with complete opposite seasons. UTEP started the year on fire with a 5-1 record out of the gate, albeit against weak opposition before dropping 5 of their last 6. BYU on the other hand, stumbled out of the gate, dropping 4 of their first 5 and 5 of their first 7, before winning 4 straight and then dropping their final game 17-16 to a good Utah Team.
Motivation is always a factor in Bowl games. BYU can't be happy with the
season they had, not to mention this game taking place while exams are going on.
UTEP is likely just happy to be here considering the way they finished the year,
so motivation hard to gauge here. We'll call it a wash.
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No question BYU is the better team. Both teams put up very similar numbers this year and identical records, but BYU did so against a schedule that was at least 8 points stronger than UTEP's, not to mention BYU being the team playing the better ball right now.
We make BYU roughly a 10 point favorite here, which is close to the current line of -11.5. Normally we'd lean towards taking the points in a setup like this with motivation being a big question mark for BYU. However considering the different directions these two found themselves headed as the year ended, and considering that BYU has won 25 of the last 27 between these two programs, not to mention UTEP QB Trevor Vittatoe being hobbled and potential ineffective, we're going to go ahead and lean towards BYU here.
This one could be fun to watch, and that's what we'd reccomend. Our best guess here is BYU minus the spot.
TEXAS EL PASO
Texas El Paso is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Texas El Paso is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Texas El Paso's last 6 games
BYU is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of BYU's last 12 games
Yards Per Point
UTEP off 14.2 def 15.9 +1.7
BYU off 14.8 def 15.8 +1.0