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New Mexico State vs. Fresno State: Picks, best bets for New Mexico Bowl on Saturday

The Aggies and Bulldogs took a left turn and ended up in Albuquerque for this bowl game. NMSU enters as the favorite in its home state.

New Mexico State v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

The 2023 Isleta New Mexico Bowl will take place today as the New Mexico State Aggies will duke it out with the Fresno State Bulldogs at University Stadium in Albuquerque. This bowl will kick off at 5:45 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.

New Mexico State (10-4, 7-1 CUSA) had a really successful first season in Conference USA, winning 10+ games for just the second time in program history and reaching the league title game. You may remember the Aggies for going into Auburn late in the season and thrashing the Tigers in a 31-10 victory. Quarterback Diego Pavia was the star of the show all season ling, throwing for 2,915 yards, rushing for 856 yards, and accounting for 32 touchdowns.

Fresno State (8-4, 4-4 MWC) wasn’t able to defend its Mountain West Conference title from last year, but was in the mix late into the season. UCF transfer quarterback Mikey Keene excelled in his first season in the Valley, throwing for 2,596 yards with 21 touchdowns to just nine interceptions. Defensive back Carlton Johnson was a menace on defense with 53 tackles, seven passes defended, and four interceptions.

SP+ Rankings

New Mexico State: 62 overall, 75 offense, 46 defense
Fresno State: 63 overall, 58 offense, 83 defense

List of injuries and players opting out of game

New Mexico State

QB Diego Pavia - Probable (Shoulder)
CB Reggie Akles - Out (Transfer Portal)
WR Trent Hudson - Out (Transfer Portal, 571 yards, 10 TDs)
WR Jordin Parker - Out (Transfer Portal, 235 yards, 3 TDs)
WR Ta’ir Brooks - Out (Transfer Portal)
TE Tyler Devera - Out (Transfer Portal)
WR PJ Johnson - Out (Transfer Portal)

Fresno State

QB Logan Fife - Out (Transfer Portal, (642 yards, 3 TDs)
S Chrishawn Gordon - Out (Transfer Portal)
LB Raymond Scott - Out (Transfer Portal)

ATS/Total

Against The Spread in 2023

New Mexico State: 10-3-1 ATS
Fresno State: 4-8 ATS

Total in 2023 (check here)

New Mexico State: Over 5-9
Fresno State: Over 8-4

Team Pace

New Mexico State: 2.04 plays per minute of offense
Fresno State: 2.33 plays per minute of offense

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: New Mexico State -3.5
Total: 51.5
Moneyline: NMSU -180, Fresno State +150

Opening line: New Mexico State -1.5
Opening total: N/A

Weather

49 degrees, partly sunny, 5 MPH winds SW

Our Best Bet for the New Mexico Bowl

New Mexico State -3.5

New Mexico State will have an advantage being just over three hours away from its home in Las Cruces, and I think they’ll handle business here. Pavia had an incredible season for the Aggies this year and if he decides to enter the transfer portal, this game could serve as the perfect platform to showcase himself. Take NMSU to cover.