College Football Week 0 Best Bets: UMass vs New Mexico State
College Football is back! Vaughn Dalzell breaks down the best bet in a Week 0 matchup between the UMass Minuteman and New Mexico State Aggies.
UMass at New Mexico State (-7): O/U 44.5
UMass at New Mexico State is a Primetime game, which means it must be Week 0!
The Minutemen are being dismissed by the majority of College Football fans and bettors after a 1-11 2022 season, but there is obvious improvement ahead of 2023 for UMass.
UMass brings in a double-digit number of Power-5 transfers, eight starters on defense, an eight-deep offensive line and much improved QB, WR, and DB units. If this team’s ceiling was comparable to any, it would be the UConn Huskies of 2022, who finished 7-6 with a bowl appearance (28-14 loss vs. Marshall).
UMass had five losses of 17 or fewer points and three losses of 10 or less last season, but I expect a majority of their contests to be tighter with a few more wins.
This Minutemen’s squad lost 20-3 at Texas A&M towards the end of the season after a two-point loss at Arkansas State (35-33) the week prior, so UMass was improving week by week.
New Mexico State opened the 2022 season 0-4 against Nevada, Minnesota, UTEP, and Wisconsin before beating Hawaii, then losing to FIU for a 1-5 start. The Aggies won five of the next six games to make a bowl game and beat Bowling Green (24-19) to cap off a total 180 of a year for New Mexico State.
However, New Mexico State only beat one team with a winning record last season (Liberty), so was the Aggies’ bowl appearance and win really that impressive?
What’s more impressive is the fact that UMass has lost 24 straight road games, but to be honest this is the most talented and experienced Minutemen’s team they have had in that span, not to mention the new quarterback is a Clemson and Georgia Tech transfer (Taisun Phommachanh).
With this Week 0 matchup being one of the five or six winnable games on the schedule for UMass, I expect the Minutemen to come out swinging and the defense to keep this competitive. UMass did lead New Mexico State 13-10 at halftime last season before losing 23-13.
I played UMass +7 at -110 odds and playable down to +6 with a sprinkle on the ML at +200. UMass will win a road game this year and it might be this one.
Pick: UMass +7 (1u)
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