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UTEP vs. New Mexico State best bets

The Miners and Aggies open up the 2021 FBS football season. We take a look at both teams, and find a pick to be made.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 11 UTEP at North Texas Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What better way to start the 2021 college football season off than a good, old-fashioned rivalry showdown in Week 0? That’s exactly what we’ll get at 9:30 p.m. ET when the UTEP Miners travel 45 minutes over the state border into Las Cruces, NM, to battle New Mexico State.

This will be the 98th edition of the “Battle of I-10” where the winner will take home both the Silver Spade trophy and the Brass Spittoon trophy. UTEP is coming off a 2020 season where they finally showed something similar to a pulse under head coach Dana Dimel, winning three of their first four ballgames before the bottom fell out and they dropped their last four contests.

2020 wasn’t even an option for NMSU as the Aggie program shut things down due to the pandemic before electing to play a pair of games against FCS opponents this past spring.

Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!

SP+ Rankings

UTEP: 125 overall, 113 offense, 128 defense
New Mexico State: 130 overall, 129 offense, 129 defense

Injury update

UTEP

No injuries reported

New Mexico State

No injuries reported

ATS/Total

Against The Spread

UTEP: 5-3 ATS (2020)
New Mexico State: 5-7 ATS (2019)*

Total

UTEP: Over 4-4 (2020)
New Mexico State: Over 6-6 (2019)*

*New Mexico State opted out of the fall 2020 season due to the pandemic

Returning/Overall Talent from 247Sports

UTEP: 108 overall, 115 offense, 104 defense
New Mexico State: 82 overall, 81 offense, 85 defense

Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: UTEP -10
Total: 58.5
Moneyline: UTEP -400, New Mexico State +300

Opening line: UTEP -7.5
Opening total: 58.5

Weather

92 degrees, 8 MPH, 15% chance of rain

The Pick

UTEP -10

Per SP+, this is a bottom-six matchup between two programs who will have uphill battles to achieve any semblance of success in 2021. But the edge here goes to UTEP, who has more playing experience in the past 12 months than their border rival and returns running back Deion Hankins, who led Conference-USA in freshman rushing touchdowns last season with nine.

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