Arizona State vs New Mexico State – Betting Odds and Pick

Whenever a line abruptly jumps one way or the other, there’s a tendency to wonder if Vegas insiders know more than the home-bound football betting expert. That’s no more in play than in the upcoming New Mexico State and Arizona State contest, in which a ho-hum season opener between a Power 5 school and a Sun Belt team (soon to be an independent) has taken on a fascinating Vegas story line.

Considering the disparity in conference strength above all else, books opened betting at (+26.5) points for NMSU. Since then, the point spread has shrunk.

Who: New Mexico State at Arizona State University

When: Thursday 8/31, 10:30 PM EST

Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe AZ

Lines: NMSU (+23.5) at ASU (-23.5), O/U: (70.5) Total Points

Why the Vegas ATS Line for NMSU at ASU is Changing

Bettors do not trust the constant hype around ASU, especially after the PAC-12 squad went 5-7 in 2016. But the difference in size and ability between a P5 roster and a Sun Belt team is substantial. Clearly, cash players taking the underdog plus 3+ touchdowns do not believe the Sun Devils will lose the game outright – the money line opened at astronomical favorites’ odds and is nil at most sports books.

Instead, the line is shrinking because Todd Graham’s team has been porous against schools much lower on the CFB totem pole. Last season’s ASU defense was frighteningly poor at times. The ‘Devils may have tasted success during an easy early schedule, but a peek at the stat sheet told another story. Arizona State carried a minus 0.3 yards-per-play average vs. its first 4 opponents, a deficit that grew worse as top programs came to town. Graham, a head coach with a defensive background, was mentoring one of the worst defenses in the Power-5 by season’s end.

The Aggies aren’t a highly physical unit, but they can score. QB Tyler Rogers throws too many interceptions, and the defense has been bad even by Sun Belt standards. A gaggle of starters return on offense, including fantastic senior running back Larry Rose III.

It’s not that gamblers think ASU won’t score points, despite uncertainty at QB and off-season coaching upheaval – the O/U line is peaking above 70, after all – but nobody thinks the Sun Devil ‘D can stop a great RB right now. Rogers can also damage a P5 team with short and mid-range throws.

Winning O/U Bet For Week 1 NCAA Football – NMSU at ASU

Despite the changing action, a bet on either side ATS is faulty. This could be a game where Arizona State leads comfortably, yet NMSU is so potent scoring in garbage-time that it forces Graham to leave his 1st-string offense on the field.

But as dubious as that scenario is ATS, it’s a glowing opportunity on the O/U. This could be a fun shoot-out in the 2nd half, as 2 healthy and re-charged offenses relax against pedestrian defense. It won’t be a 41-7 blow-out. 56-27? Much more likely.

Take Over (70.5) points for a payoff bet in Tempe.

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