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!
UTEP: 125 overall, 113 offense, 128 defense
New Mexico State: 130 overall, 129 offense, 129 defense
No injuries reported
New Mexico State
No injuries reported
Against The Spread
UTEP: 5-3 ATS (2020)
New Mexico State: 5-7 ATS (2019)*
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
Moneyline: UTEP -400, New Mexico State +300
Opening line: UTEP -7.5
Opening total: 58.5
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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN). 21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.