New Mexico State vs Bowling Green Odds, Tips

New Mexico State vs Bowling Green Odds

The Monday afternoon Quick Lane Bowl features two teams making surprise bowl appearances.

Las Vegas set both Bowling Green and New Mexico State win totals below 5 early in the season, so I don’t think this is a game where a team isn’t excited to be in a bowl game. Look out for these two squads to bring your A game.

They will want to end the season on a high note as these bowl games are certainly not guaranteed.

New Mexico State hasn’t bowled since 2017 and has been the face of a lousy program ever since. Former TCU interim head coach Jerry Kill has done an amazing job in his first season as the Aggies’ head coach, leading a program that hadn’t finished better than 3-10 since 2018 to a bowl appearance.

The state of New Mexico introduced him as a highly respected show creator and he has lived up to the hype this season.

Not to be outdone, Bowling Green hasn’t had a winning record since the 2015 season, where Georgia Southern bested it in the GoDaddy Bowl.

Scot Loeffler took over the program in 2019 and is making his first bowl appearance with the Falcons this season. While his response hasn’t been as quick, he’s done a great job starting to rebuild this Falcons program.

Not to be outdone, the Aggies are ranked 126th in our Action Network power rankings.

How are they bowl eligible? Finishing the season against two teams FCS and UMass certainly helps the record. Give credit where credit is due though: the Aggies beat Liberty and earned a waiver from the NCAA to secure a bunk bowl.

While the Falcons run a fast-paced offense, the Aggies like to slow down, ranking 96th in seconds per play.

They’re also a pretty brutal offense, ranking in the bottom 30 for Offensive Success Rate and Havoc Allowed, which could be a big problem with Brooks on the other side of the line.

However, they do have one bright spot: their Opportunity Points, where they rank 37th nationally.

When they get the ball inside the 40 against Bowling Green, they should take advantage of touchdowns instead of settling for field goals.

The big question is, how many trips inside the 40-yard line will the Aggies make? With Brooks living in their backfield, there may not be many.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Aggies are slightly below average but respectable as a whole. They rank just below average in Success Rate Allowed, Opportunity Points Allowed, and Havoc.

However, a sub-par defense may be enough to shut down a potentially anemic Bowling Green offense.

If the Aggies can pressure Bowling Green quarterback Matt McDonald enough to make him nervous, they should be able to keep the Falcons to field goals. However, New Mexico State struggles to rush the passer, ranking 122nd in pass rush.

McDonald has excelled in places where he has been under pressure, and with a clean pocket, he should be able to play at a high level. Without that pressure, this Aggies defense will have trouble getting off the field.

The Falcons enter this game ranked 117th in our Action Network Power Ratings. They made this bowl game by pulling off big upsets over Marshall, Central Michigan, and Toledo, all of whom were 6.5-plus point favorites.

BGSU runs a quick offense, clocking in at 25.19 seconds per play (34th in the country). Unfortunately, that’s about as far as it ranks above average. This Falcons team finishes in the bottom 10 when it comes to offense. Success rateOffensive Opportunity Points and Havoc Allowed.

Despite these horrible advanced metrics, though, this offense has still found ways to put points on the board with a 42-point outing against Toledo and a 34-point outing against Central Michigan.

McDonald played some of the best soccer of his career in both games, particularly against Toledo (not counting the FCS competition).

Keeping him clean will be crucial to the Falcons’ offensive hopes, as he’s been sacked three or more times in each of his last seven games. Bowling Green’s final game of the season against Ohio was also the worst game of his career, as he threw three interceptions and finished with a FFP note of 37.9.

If McDonald can stay off the grass, he usually deals with the ball, and this offense should be able to work its way down the field. The big question is whether or not he can score touchdowns.

Based on the offense’s performance this season, I’d lean toward settling for field goals.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Falcons are much more respectable, where they particularly excel at creating Havoc for opposing offenses.

The reason for this is PFF All-American defensive lineman Karl Brooks, who ranks in the top 10 nationally in solo sacks. Brooks will play in the bowl game and likely live in the Aggies’ backfield, looking to cement his status as one of the most productive defensive linemen in this draft class.

Outside of this Havoc creation, Bowling Green State’s defense has struggled in other respects, particularly as opposing offenses approach their 40s. The Falcons allow 4.1 points per chance, ranking them 100th nationally.

This could be an area where the Aggies exploit the Falcons.

Analysis of the duel between New Mexico State and Bowling Green

Toggle the dropdown menus below to hide or show how the state of New Mexico and Bowling Green are statistically matched:

Bowling Green Offense vs New Mexico State Defense

New Mexico State Offense vs Bowling Green Defense

Game Pace / Other
pff attack 107 43
PFP coverage 87 80
Special equipment SP+ 113 96
seconds per move 26.4 (63) 28.8 (111)
rush rate 48.8% (99) 59.9% (20)
Given (CFBD), SoccerOutsiders, SP+, professional soccer focus Y SportSource analysis

New Mexico State vs Bowling Green Picks and Prediction

Despite both of these teams ranking below average in many key categories, I think this will have enough chaos to make it an extremely fun watch.

I’m going to give this Bowling Green team the edge though.

Brooks has been the X factor all season, and I think he’ll cement his status as one of the best defensive linemen in this draft with an All-American performance against New Mexico State.

If Bowling Green can take the lead early and force the Aggies to put the ball in the air, I think they’ll rack up points quickly thanks to 3-pointers and turnovers.

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