SMU vs BYU New Mexico Bowl Odds, Preview and Prediction

SMU has gone from a short underdog to a 4-point favorite versus BYU ahead of Saturday's New Mexico Bowl. Find out what's caused the line movement and if there's any value left on the Mustangs at the new number. The post SMU vs BYU New Mexico Bowl Odds, Preview and Prediction appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.

SMU vs BYU New Mexico Bowl Odds, Preview and Prediction
  • SMU is laying 4 points in the SMU vs BYU odds ahead of Saturday’s New Mexico Bowl
  • The Mustangs closed the season by winning four of their last five games
  • Check out the latest SMU vs BYU odds, along with analysis and a betting prediction

When it comes to Saturday’s New Mexico Bowl between SMU and BYU, injuries are front and center. Both teams are expecting to be down multiple key players, with the Cougars’ injury situation getting worse with every day that passes.

Bettors have taken notice, and are dumping money on the Mustangs per the college football odds. SMU opened up as a 1.5-point underdog in this matchup, but are now laying points.

SMU vs BYU Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
BYU Cougars +4 (-110) +160 O 64.5 (-110)
SMU Mustangs -4 (-110) -190 U 64.5 (-110)

Odds as of December 14 at DraftKings. Get the DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to bet on the New Mexico Bowl matchup.

The Mustangs are currently 4-point favorites, and that number appears likely to continue moving in their favor. As of Monday afternoon, 86% of the spread handle is on SMU, and most of that action is coming from big-money bettors.

The ATS handle is a result of just 54% of the against the spread wagers, which indicates those who bet biggest are on the Mustangs.

Total wise, the over/under for this matchup has seen major line movement as well. It opened at 73.5, but has been bet all the way down to 64.5.



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Kickoff for the New Mexico Bowl is slated for 7:30 pm ET on Saturday night at University Stadium in Albuquerque, NM, with ABC providing the coverage.

The forecast is currently calling for clear skies, 25-degree game-time temperatures, and 6 mph sustained winds.

SMU vs BYU Betting Analysis

Of all the BYU injuries, none is more significant than the one to starting QB Jaren Hall. The fifth-year junior was hurt in the Cougars’ final regular season game at Stanford, and hasn’t taken any practice reps since. Hall threw for 3,171 yards and 31 TD this season, and the drop off from him to his backups is drastic.

A big reason for that is because BYU’s number two QB Jacob Conover entered the transfer portal before the regular season ended. That means former Boise State transfer Cade Fennegan is likely to get the nod under center in the New Mexico Bowl. Fennegan hasn’t taken a snap for the Cougars since transferring, and hasn’t seen any action since November of 2020.

Not only is the focal point of their offense hurt, but BYU will be without one of its best defenders as well. Second-leading tackler Keenan Pili announced last Friday he’s entering the transfer portal. That leaves the Cougars undermanned at the linebacker position as three other linebackers are already out.

If there’s a team you don’t want to be shorthanded against it’s SMU. The Mustangs enter play averaging 37.8 points per game, the 10th most in the country. They also rank 10th in total offense and third in passing yards per game.

Senior QB Tanner Mordecai backed up his 39 TD campaign from a year ago with 31 more scores in 2022. He’s led SMU to 40+ points on five occasions this season, and has helped them win four of their five past five games. Mordecai has thrown at least two touchdown passes nine times this year, highlighted by a 9 TD effort against Houston.

Tanner Mordecai Stats – Last 2 Seasons

Year Pass Yds TD INT
2022 3,306 31 9
2021 3,628 39 12

The Mustangs, however, will be down their top receiver Rashee Rice for this matchup. Rice finished second in the nation in receiving yards (1,355), but will sit with an injured toe. SMU will also be missing starting offensive lineman Jaylon Thomas due to shoulder surgery.

The loss of Rice stings, but it’s not like the receiving cupboard is bare behind him. Nine different pass catchers hauled in touchdowns for the Mustangs this season, while four other receivers in addition to Rice averaged over 14 yards per catch.

SMU vs BYU Prediction

SMU’s defense is extremely vulnerable, ranking 122nd in points allowed, and 124th in yards allowed. However, given the shaky Cougars QB situation, you could argue they’re much more likely to succeed than the BYU defense.

That unit wasn’t especially strong to begin with, ranking 93rd in scoring defense and 108th in yards per play. Throw in the major injury concerns at linebacker, plus one of the most feeble pass rushes in the country (3.9% sack rate), and Mordecai is likely to find success no matter who he throws to.

The trends also point to the Mustangs as well. They ended the season beating the spread in four of their final six games, while the Cougars covered just four times all season in 12 outings.

Pick: SMU Mustangs -4 (-110)


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