Call it the Dobber Down Bowl.
The New Mexico Lobos have been a program on the rise for the past few years under Bob Davie. But they’ve hit a wall in 2017. The high point was a 56-38 blow-out of Air Force to go to 3-2. The Lobos haven’t won a game since then, and were humiliated by Texas A&M in prime-time last Saturday night.
UNM was distracted by political controversy in a 38-0 loss to Fresno State that kicked off the losing streak. Since then, they’ve played better football at times (usually on offense) but the games are all slipping away.
UNLV can relate. All that was keeping the Rebels from a .500 record and likely bowl-eligibility was a win over hapless BYU last weekend. The Cougars intercepted Johnny Stanton twice, and controlled the contest for most of a 31-21 upset. But what a devastating loss for the Rebels, who may not be able to pick up the pieces.
Who’s up for this one? The odds reflect how uncertain the answer is. Perhaps neither team will be motivated. Or maybe one or both teams will get loose and start having fun?
Who: University of Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels at New Mexico Lobos
When: Friday, November 17th, 9:30 PM EST
Where: Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
Lines: Pick ’em / O/U Total: (56)
The Rebels played Air Force earlier this season, and with the Falcons importing some of the shotgun-triple option plays that New Mexico specializes in, UNLV got a rehearsal of sorts. The defense limited Air Force severely as the Rebels ran out to a big lead, but they got tired at the end and fell prey to an Arion Worthman-led comeback, losing 35-31.
New Mexico does not have an Arion Worthman on the roster. Davie has tried 3 different quarterbacks, each of whom have a negative TD to INT ratio.
But the real key to making this pick is motivation. Boosters in Albuquerque are whispering that the Lobos have quit giving 100%, while the Rebels at least have a chance to make a bowl game with 2 straight closing wins.
Go with the ultimate “home” team for bettors. UNLV will be going all-out to win on Friday night, while the Lobos lick their wounds and fall short again at Dreamstyle.
Take the Rebels to win SU, on the pick’em or the money line.