2023 New Mexico Bowl – Fresno St vs New Mexico St

2023 New Mexico Bowl – Fresno St vs New Mexico St

posted December 10

The Game

It’s time to head to the LAND OF ENCHANTMENT for the one and only New Mexico Bowl!

The New Mexico St Aggies have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2023 season and they’ve been a yuuuge money-maker for DEGENERATE NATION. They booked ten wins during the regular season but fell to Liberty in the Conference USA Championship Game (L 49-35). Don’t forget that this program was PURE FILTH not too long ago as they only won FIVE games from 2019-2021. Win a BAR BET with this fun fact. Fresno St was 8-1 at one point this season. Nobody could possibly believe that TRIVIA NUGGET yet the Bulldogs did indeed collapse down the stretch losing their final three games of the regular season. Can Fresno St finish the year on a strong note by taking down one of the DARLINGS of the 2023 season?

The Details

New Mexico St -3.5 Fresno St (51)

MEGALOCKS LINE – New Mexico St -2.5

“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: New Mexico St 27.25 Fresno St 23.75

New Mexico St offense vs Fresno St defense

The most popular Halloween costume choice for the young ones in Las Cruces this year was to dress up as Aggies’ QB Diego Pavia. The costume? A giant straw. Why? Because he’s the STRAW that STIRS the DRINK, yo. Pavia was one of the most valuable players in the Group of Five conferences and he’s a legit dual threat QB and a proven winner (61%, 2,915, 26-8 TD to INT; 851 rush, 6 TD). Pavia was banged up in the season finale vs Liberty so keep tabs on injury news during the week. Backup QB BLAZE Burlowitz did a decent job in relief but it’s not reasonable to expect “Pavia-like” numbers from anyone other than Diego. The Aggies rank #11 (!) in the nation in rushing offense and they’ll be able to have success vs a mediocre Fresno St run defense (#95). Losing Pavia would be a big deal as he was by far the team’s leading rusher although it did appear as tho Burlowitz had decent mobility in the Liberty game. The Aggies lost a pair of WRs in the portal including Trent Hudson who led the team in TD receptions (10) so that’s a bit of a nasty blow. The Bulldogs held up well vs the pass this year (#1 Mountain West pass efficiency D) and they picked off 16 (!) passes (#5 FBS) so we expect New Mexico St to focus the majority of their work on running the ball in this game.

Fresno St offense vs New Mexico St defense

The Bulldogs have a legit #1 RB in Malik Sherrod (876, 5.8, 9 TD) but they do the majority of their damage thru the air (#118 FBS rushing offense, #28 passing). Backup QB Logan Fife has hit the transfer portal but #1 QB Mikey Keene is a go for this contest and he’s the best QB option on the roster, as flawed as he may be (21-9 TD to INT, 66%, 6.8 YPA). They’ve got a deep WR group with a pair of doods that have amassed 600+ receiving yards (Brooks, Moss) but they only average 10.7 yards per completion as a team which is not very good. Fresno will be happy to know that New Mexico St ranks #78 in the country in pass efficiency D and recall that the Aggies were absolutely steamrolled by Liberty in the CUSA title game (712 yards; 393 rush, 319 pass). New Mexico St does a good job of getting after the passer (31 sacks, #35 FBS) but Keene is much more adept at avoiding sacks than backup Logan Fife. Keene only threw 9 INTs in 383 attempts so we expect Fresno St to be able to move the ball thru the air.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

The Aggies have played a VERY easy schedule according to the Sagarin ratings (#127) whilst the Bulldogs have played the #88 docket and note that Fresno St tallied wins over BOTH teams that appeared in the Mountain West Championship Game (Boise St, UNLV)….You would have thought that would have positioned Fresno St very well in terms of making the conference title game but as noted earlier they IMPLODED in spectacular fashion, kinda like when US government agencies caused WTC Building 7 to implode on 9-11 thanks to the liberal use of explosives…..The intrepid Phil Steele rates the Fresno St special teams at a sparkling #23 whilst the Aggies clock in at a rank of #63……The Bulldogs will be be without head coach Jeff Tedford who’s stepping away from football and they’ll be led by interim HC Tim Skipper in the bowl game…..This game is being played in Albuquerque, New Mexico so it stands to reason that any HF edge would probably go to the Aggies as they’ve played the Lobos here on many occasions.


This might be the most difficult game to predict on a card FULL of challenging handicapping tests on opening bowl weekend. New Mexico St has played the easier schedule but they’ve already hit 10 wins on the season and just might be worn out after a long run to get to the conference title game (8 consecutive victories). Fresno St has the more talented roster as we prefer them in this spot. We’ll do a bit more reading on how the team is preparing without Tedford before we make a final call.


No leanage.


‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.