Nevada vs New Mexico State NCAAF Week Zero Preview and Prediction August 27, 2022
Nevada vs New Mexico State August 27, 2022 @ Las Cruces NM
Opening Betting Odds
Spread: Nevada -10, New Mexico State +10
Moneyline: Nevada -400, New Mexico State +350
The Nevada Wolfpack will open the season on the road at New Mexico State in a Week Zero game at the end of August. These two teams played each other every year until 2011, but hadn’t faced off in a decade prior to last year’s game in Reno. Nevada is 6-1 straight up in the last seven head to head meetings dating back to 2006, but New Mexico State covered the spread in four of those games.
Last year’s game was a high scoring affair, with the Wolfpack winning 55-28. The Aggies scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to get a back door cover as a 28-point road underdog. The total is set at 55, which seems noteworthy because all seven meetings between these teams since 2006 went over that number. The last time Nevada played at Las Cruces, they won by a score of 48-34 back in 2011.
- 8-5 straight up in 2021
- 5-3 in the Mountain West in 2021
- 8-4-1 against the spread in 2021
The Wolfpack lost head coach Jay Norvell to Colorado State, but perhaps more concerning is that he took the majority of the talent on the roster with him in the transfer portal. First year head coach Ken Wilson will have to make wholesale changes on both side of the ball, and he steps in to what will be one of the most inexperienced teams in the country.
Nevada will have to replace quarterback Carson Strong, who was the leading passer in the Mountain West last year. After throwing for 4,186 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2021, he’s since moved on to the NFL signing as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Losing 52-24 to Western Michigan in the Quick Lanes Bowl might be an indication that the Wolfpack are going to struggle. Backup quarterback Nate Cox threw for just 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 12-of-23 passing in the loss to the Broncos. He will compete for the starting job with Oklahoma State transfer Shane Illingworth.
With fifth year senior Toa Taua back after leading the team in rushing last season, the Wolfpack might focus more on running the ball in 2022.
New Mexico State
- 2-10 overall in 2021
- 7-5 against the spread in 2021
There is reason for optimism heading into 2022, as Jerry Kill makes his return as a head coach after battling health problems over the last few years. When healthy he’s been a proven winner, most recently in the BIG10 with Minnesota.
A Jerry Kill team is expected to run the ball, and that will be even more important after starting quarterback Jonah Johnson left in the transfer portal.
An improved defense is expected, but that’s not saying much after the Aggies allowed 489 yards and over 40 points per game in 2021. They are returning eight starters and they get some help in the transfer portal.
- The over is 9-3 in the Wolf Pack last 12 games overall.
- The over is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
- The over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in New Mexico State.
- The over is 4-0 in the Wolf Pack last four non-conference games.
- The over is 4-1 in the Wolf Pack last five road games.
Prediction: Nevada 31 – New Mexico 28
Jerry Kill will get this Aggies team fired up for a home opener, and they should be able to score points on a Nevada team that is in the middle of a rebuild. History tells us that we should expect a high score, despite the fact that both teams might be leaning on the running game early in the season. Don’t be surprised if the home underdog jumps out to an early lead, but fails to hang on in the second half.
Before you dive into the Week 1 betting action, you might want to consult Ricky Tran. His impressive resume includes consecutive Top 5 finishes with college football the last two seasons. He’s also ranked near the top of the leaderboards for ROI as well as win percentage for all sports in 2022.