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New Mexico State vs. UTEP picks, best bets for Wednesday night matchup

The Aggies and Miners meet in the Battle of I-10, and this time it’s a conference game.

Sam Houston v New Mexico State Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The New Mexico State Aggies take on the UTEP Miners in the Battle of I-10 in Week 8, marking the 100th playing of the rivalry game. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 18 from El Paso, Texas.

NMSU (4-3, 2-1 CUSA) defeated Sam Houston by a score of 27-13 in Week 7. Quarterback Diego Pavia has continued to show his dual-threat capabilities. In the Aggies’ latest win, he passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 115 yards and a touchdown, leading the team. The Aggies limited the Bearkats’ rushing attack on the defensive side.

UTEP (2-5, 1-2 CUSA) beat FIU 27-14 in Week 7 to end a tough four-game losing streak. Quarterback Cade McConnell and wide receiver Kelly Akharaiyi were the duo of the day, with Akharaiyi grabbing 223 of McConnell’s 262 passing yards and both passing touchdowns of the day. Their running backs were less involved in the attack than they have been for much of the season.

Here’s everything you need to know and a pick for the game.

SP+ Rankings

NMSU: 97 overall, 72 offense, 123 defense
UTEP: 117 overall, 123 offense, 99 defense

Injury update

New Mexico State



QB Gavin Hardison - Questionable (arm)
QB Jake McNamara - Questionable (concussion)
WR Tyrin Smith - Questionable (undisclosed)
RB Mike Franklin - Questionable (undisclosed)


Against The Spread in 2023

NMSU: 4-2-1 ATS

Total in 2023

NMSU: Over 3-4
UTEP: Over 2-5

Team Pace (through Week 6)

NMSU: 1.96 plays per minute of offense
UTEP: 2.04 plays per minute of offense

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: NMSU -3
Total: 47.5
Moneyline: NMSU -148, UTEP +124


81°F, Clear, 0% chance of precipitation, 5 MPH winds

Our Best Bet for New Mexico State vs. UTEP

New Mexico State -3

The Aggies’ offense, centered around Diego Pavia, has been extremely successful this season. UTEP struggles with defending the run, and Pavia should be able to use his legs plenty in this matchup, arguably his greatest strength. Despite the Miners’ win last week over FIU and their home field advantage, I’m taking the Aggies to cover here.